After more than 25 years, Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) renowned Marching “100” Band Camp is still striking strong.
More than 350 middle and high school students from more than 22 states across the country participated in the most comprehensive music camp nationwide. FAMU’s Marching “100” Band Camp is the only one of its kind to include special ensembles, symphonic and jazz bands, leadership development and it’s defining factor, the marching band experience.
“We were excited to have more than 350 students from across the country,” said Director of Bands, Shelby Chipman, Ph.D. “We had a great time developing these students in the areas of character, musicianship and professionalism.”
Held July 7-14, students from as far away as Oregon enjoyed a full week of events starting with marching band rehearsals in the morning, specialized rehearsals during the day and ending their night with a second marching band rehearsal.
“I plan on joining the ‘100’ for many reasons. It is just an amazing program. The things you learn are unlike any other,” said band camper Jaleesa Smith. “People here are super professional and hold themselves with such high character, and there is a standard that they set; and it’s very high, and there’s a lot of expectations. I feel personally that if I’m able to meet those expectations, and if I’m able to rise to the occasion that I can be the best person and best player that I can be.”
The camp wasn’t all work and no play. Band camp counselors made sure students had a well-rounded experience with a camp barbecue and special “Be Out Day” event. Students also had a chance to see what it was like to be a FAMU Rattler through various campus exposure opportunities.
“FAMU counselors are literally the coolest people on earth and they taught me a lot, and so did Mr. Griffin and Dr. Chipman and Ralph Jean-Paul. It was a really fun experience and I would encourage anybody to participate, if they can get the chance to come,” said band camper Stephen Veaudin.
The week-long event culminated with a band parade, symphonic concert and pre-game and halftime show performances.
The Marching “100” Band Camp also included a band director’s clinic. More than 26 band directors from around the nation attended to learn about arranging and band administration.
Next year, the camp is expected to grow even more and organizers plan to welcome nearly 600 students according to Music Department Chair Lindsey Sarjeant.