MILTON — Milton High School's Marching Band is prepping for the school year in the best way they know how: an intense two-week band camp to get "pumped up" for the upcoming season.
Gray Weaver, head band director for MHS, said this year approximately 200 students have participated in the camp to prepare the season's line up, which will include popular multiple generational tunes, including Queens "Bohemian Rhapsody."
"It should be a great program," Weaver said. "We are actually doing a program about making choices in life. It is called 'When the Heart Ignites the Soul.'"
The camp consists of daily practices from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. that breaks up between outdoor and indoor practices and gives the students a two-hour break for lunch and an hour and a half for dinner, Weaver said. He said the students begin with four hour practices outdoors that include specialized sectional practices followed by indoor practices where the band rehearses performances for halftime shows and other football game related music. In the evening, Weaver said they are back on the field practicing the drills for the halftime shows.
"We try to utilize the morning hours and then the evening hours to the best of our ability," he said. "And we try to fight the Florida heat."
Weaver said this camp is to help prepare students for the preview show happening at 7 p.m. July 25 at the school's stadium. Weaver said the performance will be free to parents and he encouraged everyone to come out and support the band.
"This is a very hard-working group," he said. "We have had a great summer. We hope everyone will come out and join us."
Weaver said as part of the show, the band students will be able to invite one of their family members onto the field to "shadow" them as they go through the performance to get an idea of what it is like to be in the band.
"That's actually kind of crazy and fun at the same time," Weaver said. "We will go from having 200 on the field to 400 at one time."
Weaver said as he enters his 25 year as the band director, that the best part of doing the camp was seeing the future band leaders emerge.
"This is the next generation right here." he said.