For more than 26 years, members of Florida A&M University’s marching band have been spending their summer enhancing the talents of young musicians.
For one week, middle and high school students are under the direction of FAMU’s band director, Shelby R. Chipman, in a comprehensive camp, focusing on different genres of music and marching.
Those students got to show off their skills on FAMU’s campus Thursday evening during their annual band camp parade.
“This is our first major performance. Later on, we have our concert band and jazz band and of course, I cannot wait for our final performance for the returning parents,” Chipman said.
Along with preparing for other performances, the campers spent days practicing music and a field show for this parade.
Separated into two sections, the orange and green band filled FAMU’s set, leaving barely any room for the orientation crowd to cheer them on.
Serving Florida A&M’s Music Department for 26 years, Kimberly Taylor, the camp’s registrar suggests that with the help of social media, alumni and word of mouth from faithful camp participants, the camp has picked up since their “coming back” in 2013.
Taylor said, “Most of the time, these students go home and tell their peers about our camp and we grow in size almost every year. In the past, we have seen a roster of 500 kids. However, this year we have 350 very talented students participating in our camp. “
Taylor predicts that the majority of the seniors participating in the camp will come back in the fall as admitted Rattlers.
Emma Browne, an Independence High School senior from Charlotte, North Carolina says that even though this is her second year participating in the camp, she wished she had done it more often.
Browne said, “The first day is always hectic. But by the second day, everyone is getting it; were learning music and were learning the dance routine for the parade. It’s an amazing experience.”
Band Camp musicians experienced what it is like being part of the incomparable Marching 100, and they also experienced what it was like being a student on the hill.
Browne believes that practicing time management and listening played a big role in her experience on FAMU’s campus.
“As long as you work hard and follow directions, you will have an awesome time at FAMU,” said Browne.