Tuesday, June 27 was a particularly gorgeous day outside. The sun was out and the weather was impeccable, which I thought was the perfect opportunity to go out to the Quad and watch the Color Guard Division practice their techniques. The Quad is a visually gorgeous area of Ball State’s campus that is partially encompassed by trees, which gives it the perfect amount of shade and sunlight. There’s something about Color Guard that mesmerizes me, between the colorful silk of the flags and the unison of the rifle flourishes. Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to participate in Color Guard in high school, but observing and snapping some pictures of this session made me satisfied to witness such a beautiful performing art right in front of my eyes. The session that was taking place was the Equipment Repertoire and Technique, which focuses on the performer’s technique with their particular piece of equipment. The Color Guard Division has a total of 169 participants, however, this particular session was with Groups B & C, and was broken up by the different equipment.

My next stop was over to Hargreaves Music Building to sit in on a Jazz Band Rehearsal. The moment I set foot in Hargreaves, the sound of students rehearsing all of a sudden put me at ease and the music being played immediately gave me goosebumps. For those who know me, Jazz is one my all-time favorite genres. I grew up listening to all sorts of different genres of jazz, between Big Band, Avant-Garde, Contemporary, Dixieland, and so on. The Jazz Band concert that took place every spring at my high school was always one of my favorite concerts to attend throughout the year. This particular session I decided to sit in on was with Dr. Scott Belck, trumpet player and Director of Jazz Studies at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. The rehearsal group consisted of 16 students and they were rehearsing a few different pieces, one of them being titled “When Lights Are Low.” The music these kids were creating sounded beyond the high school level. The caliber and focus of these students were incomparable, as their attention was solely on their music and Dr. Belck. In the middle of the rehearsal, some of the students from the Middle School Concert Band Camp came in to watch the rehearsal as well. It was a wonderful rehearsal for them to observe.