Thanks to the generosity of the Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a week at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater band camp. Band camp is something that I had never done before; I was always doing other things in the summer that mostly involved theatre, rather than my bass clarinet. Lucky for me I was going with a pro - Allison Paxhia. She was my roommate and the one who started our trip to the small town of Whitewater Wisconsin. It was originally Allison's idea to go to band camp and I saw it as a great opportunity to improve my skills as well as spend time with a friend.
Our first day was Sunday the 20th. We got there for registration and then set up our dorms. We each had a desk, a dresser, and a place to hang up clothes and of course, a bed. Each day's schedule was generally the same. We got up early to go to breakfast in the dining hall which was a 10 min walk from our dorms. We then headed to the center of the Arts for our first full band rehearsal of the day. In rehearsals we worked on the music that we were going to perform on Friday for our final concert. After rehearsals we went to sectionals where we worked on music but just with our different instrument groups. After sectionals we headed off to our elective - which for me was a jazz improve class. Lunch was next. Some days we ate in the dining hall and other days we ordered Jimmy John's. Our second "all" band rehearsal was after lunch followed by and hour of free time. Once free time was over, it was time for our chamber rehearsal. Chamber is when all instruments come together to perform a piece. Our clarinet chamber did a gorgeous piece called "Ah Poor Bird," which we performed at our Thursday concert. After chamber we went to our sectionals for the last time in the day before performing at our evening concert. Every night we had a special concert that the staff put together. Sometimes it featured a special guest, other performances were by our peers or the staff. Then after that we had mail call and then free time before it was time to get some sleep.
I had a blast at UWW, learned a lot and can now play two octaves on almost all of my scales - something I had not been able to accomplish before this week. This opportunity will be something that I will remember for years to come and I am so glad that I got the opportunity to go. Thank you for all of your support. I would not have been able to go if it weren't for the generosity of the Park Ridge Cultural Arts Council!
Emerson Middle School