Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA —Never in the history of band camp, held annually this time of year, has the words cold and July been uttered together in the same sentence. However, this week, members of the Piqua Marching Band - the pride of Piqua - had several members wearing hoodies to fend off the unusually cool day of practice at the Piqua High School Wednesday. A day that had begun at an early bird 8 a.m. and would continue until 9 p.m. as the band spends the week preparing for a full season just around the corner.
“The funniest part is,” said Randy Cissner, drum instructor, holding his hands out to emphasize partly cloudy skies and the very mild 68 degrees. Typically, the high school band would be practicing in miserable hot and humid conditions, where members would still be sweating in the air conditioned school building when seeking relief.
Even band director Mitch Mahaney was taken aback by the unusual weather , stating the last two years has greeted marchers with 100-plus degree days, but this year, “It’s awesome.”
“You’ve got Christmas in July,” said Cissner, with the added bonus in terms of a more than cooperative weather in that it, “Allowed us to get so much done.”
Since Monday, the group has been practicing in the parking lot of the high school, using chalk to mark positions, while the field commander used a newly donated scaffold from Four Star Tool Rental. Both breakfast and lunch is served to band members during the weeklong camp with volunteers aiding in preparation, and an occasional parent dropping in to see not only the progress being made but offer up a treat during breaks.
Band camp will continue until a half day of practice on Friday when the group will have their pictures taken in their new uniforms. Then, on Friday, July 25, the marching band will host a premier to show progress to parents, with an open invitation to the community.
Some of the show music on the band’s agenda includes “Enter Sandman” from Metallic and “Dream On” from Aerosmith.
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall