ROTTERDAM: The band marches on

Marching band season has officially begun in Rotterdam.

For two weeks, more than 100 Mohonasen students who are involved with the high school's field band will participate in an eight-hour per day band camp. The students will learn the entire field routine, including the music and marching formations, which the team will use throughout the season at competitions, local performances and football halftimes.

Band camp is crucial for what they do throughout the year. This is when they learn the entire field show that they use throughout September and October, the band's assistant director Jason Varga said.

Band camp is kind of like double sessions in football. Students come to school at 9 a.m. and work and learn until 8:30 p.m., with only a break for lunch and dinner.

The students involved in Mohonasen's marching band are also involved in other activities within the school. The band's director, Keith Bushey, said one year he had a football player in the band and would practice with the band in his football uniform in-between football practices.

This year, 17-year-old senior Alison Castle is working double time as a lead clarinet player in the marching band and a member of the girl's varsity soccer team.

"Basically my summer is over two weeks early," Castle said.

She has to work with the marching band while on break from soccer practice, but said she likes to be busy.

Castle has been involved with the marching band since she was in eighth grade. She is now a senior leader, which means she is in charge of her section of the band. Her responsibilities include making sure everyone is in the right spot and knows their music, and she is a role model for the younger musicians.

Castle said her favorite part about the marching band is the competitions. Mohonasen's marching band will attend five competitions this year including the New York State Field Band Conference's state championship at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

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