Banding Together over Summer

Q&A with Sophomore Band Member Uma Menon on Summer Camp


Isabela Rotendaro

Students ready in the heat of the summer to practice playing and marching. Photos by Isabela Rotendaro

Seiya Mutreja, Staff Reporter

Q:  When did the band summer camp take place?

A: “It started on July 26, and it was at school from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.”


Q: How many hours did you come in a week?

A: “About 9 hours. It would be 4 hours outside, and after that, we would practice inside.”


Q: How did it feel to have to come during summer?

A: “It was pretty exhausting since we had to start early and wake up early. After that, we worked out for hours on end. But at the same time, I felt pretty accomplished because we did a lot.”


Q: What would a daily camp schedule look like?

A: “I’d get there around 6.45 a.m. We started exactly at 7 a.m. We would sometimes do workouts or warmups to get our hearts beating faster. In the first week, we learned how to march and the essentials. In the next week, we started learning the actual show and marching the actual show. Sometimes we would play our music for 2 hours a day. We had these things called sub-sectionals where we were just with our instrument groups (the woodwinds were with the woodwinds, etc.), and we would practice with our group. All the other mellow players and I were playing our music with our teacher. Sometimes we would do an ensemble where the whole band was playing marching music. Other times, we would learn the choreography. It was just that or variations of that.”


Q:  Were there any memorable or shocking moments during this summer camp?

A: “I remember when we first marched the show, like a big chunk of it. That was cool because it was pretty exciting. After all, you are doing the show, playing the music, and you can see it all coming together. As somebody who has never done that before, it was pretty fun. I thought it was cool.”

Q: What is one thing you love most about being in the VHS band?

A: “It’s a fun and unique experience because you are with other people who also play instruments and are doing the same thing as you. When you are in the band, you are in a community of like-minded individuals. I liked playing the show because, while it was difficult, you were sharing this experience with your friends. And when you see it all come together, it’s extremely fulfilling. You feel these torturous weeks of routines paying off, and that feels great.”


Q: What is one thing that annoys you about being in the band?

A: “It can be tedious trying to learn the choreo and repeat the steps. Not always being guaranteed a good spot was slightly annoying. Of course, getting up early every morning was annoying, but it was all finally worth it.”

Q: If someone was considering joining the band, what would you say to them?

A: “I would say that it can be strenuous, especially because we are in Texas, and it can be scorching outside. It can be hard, and you will feel exhausted, but it will be extremely enjoyable. You will have had a unique and special experience, along with new friends and improved skills. So in the end, if you are willing to work for it, it will be worth it.”