EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — East Peoria Community High School musicians are preparing for marching band season at band camp, bringing their instruments to the field for the first time in more than a year.
Band camp began two weeks ago and will end Friday. The high school’s Director of Bands, Adam Schneblin said he is proud of where the students have come since the start, as they practice their new ensemble, Angels and Demons.
“Right now they can start to see just a little bit of what happens when we all band together and work hard, and it’s showing through the music and through the marching,” Schneblin said.
Schneblin said the season begins in early September, and they will play at each football game, as well as compete in five marching competitions. He said the camp is important in fine-tuning skills and being well-prepared for the season to come.
“This prepares us for the whole season, and we couldn’t do all this in just within the parameters of the school day,” Schneblin said.
Senior clarinet player, Madelyn Ingolia, said being back at camp this summer has made her last year in the group feel almost normal.
“Last year we really didn’t get to do visuals or just a lot of the cool stuff we usually get to incorporate in shows,” Ingolia said. “There’s just a lot of bonding as a band and bonding as a section that you couldn’t really do last year because of social distancing and not really being able to go out.”
Bryce Woodard, a senior trumpet player, said he’s proud of everyone working so hard this year, especially the newcomers.
“Sophomores, who didn’t really have, I guess, what you would call a proper kind of band experience their first year, have been able to just keep up so well,” Woodard said.
He said he’s glad to be back and that he missed seeing people face-to-face, making connections.
“The connection here is huge, not only with your own section members, with everyone else in the band, but even your directors, the parents, the communities, the surrounding marching bands,” Woodard said. “It’s just incredible.”
Schneblin said people are welcome to come to see the band play tomorrow night, Friday, August 6, at Eastside Center.