Band Camp: A Chance to Compose Sweet Summer Memories

This is a guest blog post by Nicole Burroughs, Atlanta Music Project’s Development Manager.

When I was in high school and the dog days of summer approached, I was the one who actually looked forward to going “back to school.” See, the end of the summer meant one thing to me…the start of summer music camp.

In high school, it meant sleep away band camp. We traveled to a retreat located in the mountains of Tennessee. I knew I would spend 24-7 with my best friends, learning the show, drilling the music, practicing all day. We willingly stood at attention in the blazing heat of the south, marching chart by chart, playing 8 measures at a time. We listened to the Dr. Beat on the Long Ranger driving the tempo home. Evenings were filled with campfires, skits, and games, even though we were exhausted. We stayed up late talking after lights out. There were clean room contests and march offs. Which section had the most spirit? Who wore the kookiest themed outfits?

Nicole Burroughs, Drum Major, poses with the 1996-1997 Notre Dame High School Marching Band.

Nicole Burroughs, Drum Major, poses with the 1996-1997 Notre Dame High School Marching Band.

But the most amazing thing of all were the moments when we “got it.” When the music lined up, the drill was just right and we got the first half of the show on the field. We worked as a team, we used our musicianship, we wanted to make it better and then…we got to show it off to everyone else. Those weeks of summer taught me to think of the big picture. I learned the fine art of hard work and perseverance. I went on to do many incredible things, but those weeks at summer band camp will forever live in my mind.

Please give to and give the children of Atlanta a chance to compose their own summer memories.


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