HUBER HEIGHTS — Last week, the Wayne Marching Band Camp was grueling but rewarding for the 170 participants, of which 44 are Warriorettes.
The Warriorettes started their day at 6:30 a.m. “kicking” while all band and Warriorette members had breakfast at 7:15 a.m. with the day concluding at 9:30 p.m.
Kiersten Showers, Director of Bands, said camp was “tough.”
“Their bodies definitely take a hit, but they learn to work through it,” she said on Friday morning, just before the band ran through their show a final time. “We do stretches. We teach them proper foot care, sun care, a lot of water breaks and mostly it’s just conditioning — a lot of conditioning.”
Showers was asked if she considers the band members to be athletes.
“Absolutely — 100 percent,” she said. “Because, it’s not only covering the field, we are very specific in terms of tempo. We have to high march, which is getting the foot up off the ground, toes pointed. It’s a lot of technique in terms of body form and they cover the entire field just for pre-game alone from end zone to end zone at 168 beats per minute…and the whole time, playing an instrument, which takes an enormous amount of air on top of that. So not only are they doing a physical activity, they also have all of the mental that goes with it to keep it going and make music at the same time.”
Showers said the week had went “really well” and had a lot of cooperation from the school in terms of facilities which she said “helps a lot.”
“The students are working super hard even with the super hot day on Wednesday,” she said. “They handled it—we’re working through the heat and the pain and putting on a really good show.”
The band displayed the fruits of their hard work at a 7 p.m. with a “pop show” performance Friday night. The first number was “Want to Want Me” followed by their dance number “Uptown Funk” and the third was a Warriorette feature: “Shake It Off.”
The band is preparing for the Wayne football opener at 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28 against Canadian Prep Academy in the Premiere Health Backyard Blitz National High School Football Invitational. Showers said the band will alter their pre-game performance by adding the Candadian National Anthem to show respect to their Canadian opponent. The second game is at Cincinnati Moeller at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 6. She said that since this game is played in the afternoon when the sun is out, the atmosphere changes a little bit.
“It will still be a lot of fun,” said Showers.
Showers said the band is working on the “pop show” for the home opener and will work on another show for the Sept. 11 home game against Lakota West.
Last year the band played at the Division I state championship football game at The Ohio State University, a game in which the Warrior football team emerged as state runner-up.
“It was very exciting,” said Showers. “We love our football team. We love to support them. That’s our job — our main job is we are a football band and we are proud of it and we hope we get to go again.”
Sydne Santo, a field commander of the marching band, said the week had been “really productive.”
“Everyone’s been trying real hard despite the heat and the asphalt smell that gives people headaches,” said Santo. “…There’s been such motivation throughout the week… and to make this show fantastic for the performance tonight (Friday).”
Santo said she believes the marching band will have a great season.
“I’ve heard that our football team is going to be even better than last year and our marching band is going to improve right with it,” she said.
Co-captain Sidney Sweet said the week was tough.
“Not only are you worrying about yourself, it’s the whole team that you’re worrying about,” she said. “…You have to make sure you know everything…, you have to be watching them making sure that they’re good and if they have questions, you have to answer them. And then, with us, high marching is really hard. It’s really tiring. You go down a whole football field multiple times…but it’s a lot of fun. I wouldn’t ever trade it for anything else.”
Co-captain Katie Martin said band camp had been hard, “but it’s worth it — it’s paid off really good.”
Martin said the most exciting thing about the week was the show.
“Because it’s a pop show, so it’s usually like a crowd favorite,” she said. “And for us, it’s something that the girls and us actually really get into. Drum brake is really fun — it’s probably my favorite thing about the show.”
During a drum brake, Martin said the band puts down their instruments and they dance with up-to-date moves.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com