OGDEN -- Budding musicians got to spend a day learning what it takes to be in a high school marching band.
The Ogden High School band sponsored a one-day band camp June 24 for junior high students, to show them the basics of marching in a band and learning good playing techniques.
"We just wanted to give something back because the community has given so much," said Heidi Alsup, a band parent and booster.
Although the camp was used as a fundraiser to help buy and repair instruments, the band boosters also wanted to open up the new band room to the public and let upcoming students get a taste of what is to come if they stick with band through junior high and decide to participate in high school.
This year, the numbers for the camp were low, but Alsup said they intend to continue with the camp next summer and make it bigger and better. They got very positive feedback from parents, students and even grandparents who brought students.
"They were thrilled and were giving suggestions to make it even bigger next year," Alsup said.
Kelly Quiroz's son, Joshua Carver, will be going into seventh grade next year, and he attended the camp.
"It was a great experience," Quiroz said of the camp.
Joshua played in his elementary school band last year and is looking forward to pursuing music through junior high and high school.
Quiroz loved looking at the state-of-the-art band facilities and was impressed with the band teacher as well as the high school band students who helped run the camp.
"I left thinking I couldn't wait for Josh to go to high school, and what parent is ever excited to send their child to high school?" she said with a laugh.
The students spent their first hour and a half getting acquainted with the band room and using their instruments in lessons led by the different section leaders for their particular instruments.
After that, the students went out on the field to learn basic marching techniques.
Kaitlyn Daniels, an Ogden High School junior and a saxophone section leader, was very impressed with the students and how quickly they caught on to elements of the camp. She thinks it is a great idea to get them excited for high school band.
"I thought it was a really good idea to get the kids started young," she said.
She admits it can take a long time to catch on to marching in a band. The band's parade camp is going on right now, and she remembers how hard it was when she started as a ninth-grader.
"These kids were catching on really fast," she said of the junior high students.
Alsup said the high school students are the best teachers because their love for the band and each other runs deep, and the younger students could catch that feeling.
"The arts are a dying thing, and we want to let the community know how hard the kids work," Alsup said. But they also want the students to know how rewarding it can be.
Joshua came away with that feeling. He said he now feels less nervous not just for junior high but even for high school, because he met some kids and teachers and felt comfortable there.
"It was great, of course," Joshua said. He loved the marching part of the camp because he got some exercise and got to play music at the same time. He also loved checking out the new band room.
"There is lots of room," he said excitedly.