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Summer Band Program Completes Inaugural Camp

group photo On the morning of Monday, July 29, a group of students from across four school districts, eight schools, and three grade levels came together as strangers. By the afternoon of Friday, August 2, that group presented a public concert to show how far they had come during their Summer Band Camp.

The camp, which was held at Whitesboro High School, was for students entering grades 5, 6 and 7, and was available to students who had finished one or more years playing their instrument.  

“It’s incredible what you can do with a group of kids like this,” said Mr. Clark, the director of the program and a band teacher at Hart’s Hill, Marcy, and Westmoreland Road elementary schools. “Good attitudes and passion for making music brought this group together quickly and we created some really terrific music in a short time. I think this unique experience will stick with these students for a long time. I can’t wait to see many of them again in my own classroom. I watched many students flourish in a new environment, even developing leadership skills among people they had only just met. I am so proud of what they have accomplished.”

Mrs. Clark, Parkway band and orchestra teacher, was the assistant director. “I really enjoyed teaching in this more relaxed atmosphere – both in the musical rehearsal environment and with our leadership activities,” she said. “These students are so enthusiastic about music, it is invigorating to work with them. I will see many of them in the Parkway band this year, and I am looking forward to building on what we have done.”

Something especially noteworthy is that the group performed the world premiere of “A Mini-Fanfare for Band,” a new piece by Brian Franco. Mr. Franco, a teacher and composer, kindly came by to visit the students on the morning of July 31. He listened to the group, halfway through their preparation, and conducted them through his own original music. This was a rare and inspiring occasion, and the students and staff are grateful to Mr. Franco for making the time to come work with us.

Many other local experts lent a hand to help throughout the week. Students had opportunities to work with Mr. Clark, Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Williams (Whitesboro High School), Mr. Picente (Holland Patent High School), and Ms. Phaneuf (Crane School of Music ‘20).  

A special thanks goes out to the Whitesboro Music Boosters for their support in sponsoring this year’s Summer Band Camp. Like their Facebook page or send an email to to get connected.

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