It was a hot one as we geared up for our last full day of camp while the Marching Band and Marching Percussion Divisions’ prepared for their performances at the Drum Corps International Central Indiana show, United Sound worked with Peer Teaching, the Orchestra students played for the Muncie community, as well as the first CITSA Experience at the Summer Symposium.

As I’ve said before and I can’t say it enough, one of the best parts of my job is getting to be immersed in camp and talking to the students and faculty. I had conversations with Mike Lynch and Scott Brown with the Middle School Concert band and the amount of passion they exude when talking about this camp and these kids is unmatched. Not only are the students extremely lucky to have a world class faculty across the board, but I am so lucky to get to know some of the most amazing people and see them in action.

I also got the chance to pop in to the some of the sessions with the Central Indiana Track Show Association (CITSA) students as they got a taste of what we do here at the Summer Symposium. CITSA schools are typically smaller, which means smaller bands, and they perform on a dirt track in the summer with their season culminating at the State Fair Band Day in August. Just from what I saw in the hour and a half I was with them, the students had those special lightbulb moments. My favorite session was Bobby Lambert’s; he got real with the students and talked about how they can have an impact in their bands and in their schools by using his own personal experiences with bullying as an example. It was amazing to talk to some of the students after that session and see their wheels turning as they talked about how they want to take a much more active role in making their school the best place it can be. They also went on campus tours with students from the Ball State School of Music. As a BSU School of Music alumna, it was awesome to see some of my peers give back to the students who may not always have the same opportunities as students that come from bigger programs.

We ended the day with the DCI Central Indiana show. I had the chance to watch the first half of the show from the second level of the stands and finished the show on the field. Seeing how much our students filled my home stadium gave me chills; especially when they gave each of the corps some much deserved love.

I’ve talked a lot about the energy at camp this week but there is truly nothing like it. There is an electricity in the air because these students are seeing the best of the best and they are appreciating every moment of it, which causes the performers to give the energy right back. I spoke with a handful of the marching band students right after their performance with Carolina Crown and it gave me goosebumps from my scalp to my toes as I watched kids search for the right words to talk about how much they loved the experience they just had, some even getting emotional. It takes a significant amount of confidence to stand with a world class drum corps, playing the same music as them, and absolutely nailing it. I’m so glad I got to see that experience from up close. This camp and this night are going to be memories these kids talk about for the rest of their lives and I am endlessly grateful for the chance to be part of it.

Next up: our final performances starting at 9 a.m.