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Camp puts band students through tough paces

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By The Staff

TB Correspondent

Trimble County school band members have one advantage over other students: For four days straight last week, they had a chance to get back into the early morning routine during band camp at Trimble County High School.

Camp started daily at 8 a.m., and band members found themselves working hard until 8 p.m. If they were lucky, they could call it the day at 5:30 p.m. last week.

Thursday was the only overnight for the squad, which slept over at the school. But, after a big breakfast, it was back to work at 8:15 a.m.

Practice days continued, with the band members working at the school  from 1-5 p.m. today, yesterday and Monday.     

Alongside the band squad was the color guard team. Only three girls strong, with juniors Danyal Adams and Kendra Whitaker and eighth-grader Rachel Stewart, the girls showed a great work ethic and tried really hard to make their routines work.

The girls said they would like for more people to have joined, but they are handling the cards they were dealt pretty well.

With great instruction and guidance from former color-guard squad member Rachel Barnes, the ladies will do just fine. Barnes enters her sophomore year this fall at Eastern Kentucky University, where she is majoring in physical education and minoring in dance.

“I really enjoy it,” Barnes said about volunteering her time to work with the color guard. “The girls are working really hard, and they should be ready for the competitions in time.”

Band director Matt Leedy is entering his second year with TCHS, and appears excited about the upcoming competitions. He said the band squad has potential to be very competitive this year.

Leedy said he got serious with a career in music education while he was a student at Lafayette High School. He then went on to study at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a degree in  music education.

“I’m stoked about this upcoming year,” he said. “It’s a very young band, but their work ethic has been outstanding thus far.”

This year, he said, “I wanted to challenge them musically and give them multiple opportunities to perform.”

In Leedy’s shadow is field director 10th-grader Daryl Spencer, who is gaining much experience on leading the band squad.

Kevin Bradley is a third-year drum-line director, but this is his first year with Leedy. He said he, too, is looking forward to competition this season.

“The kids are great, they are having fun for the most part,” he said. “The music isn’t too hard, but they work hard at it. ... I’m just extremely anxious to see our outcome by year’s end.”

Leading the drum line is senior Ethan Turner, who is the drummer for TCHS.

“I just try to be a leader and make sure that the drumline is the best in the band and keep everything tight,” Turner said.

Turner also is drummer for the local band, Unleaded, which has performed in the region and last year won a battle of the bands in Louisville. They also performed at the Trimble County Fair.

He said playing for the band at school and playing for a rock band is just as different as playing basketball for the school then going home to play basketball with friends.  

“It goes from stuff I make up in my head to reading music,” he said. In the school band, “your hands got to be quicker; it’s more formal and uptight than what I just do at home, because I work at my pace with just four other guys rather than 30. So yeah, there is a big difference but I still enjoy it.”