Following lunch was a shortened section time of rehearsal. This was due to the need to prep a little bit for the upcoming performance of Lobe Den Herren, the official hymn of the marching band. The sections met on the grassy knoll in the middle of campus. This is a beautiful, shady area that provides a nice area for the band. After a little bit of practice, they formed lines and silently marched to the chapel. They circled the auditorium in single file, except for the front ensemble, battery and color guard, who lined up in the back in additional rows. The auditorium is a special place to play this song as it has wonderful acoustics for it. After an explanation by Mr. Zamborsky to the band as to why this hymn is important and has become a tradition, they were poised to begin. With a simple movement of his arms, he invited them to fill the room with melodious harmony. The beauty of this song was hard to ignore. Many students and spectators left with a tear in their eye. The band exited the chapel just as quietly as they entered. This was the last time the Seniors would perform this song at band camp. Although it happens only once a year, it leaves a lasting impression. The impact of this reality presented many moments between band members as they hugged and congratulated one another.
The band now had a couple of hours of free time. Students were able to walk freely around campus, use the indoor swimming pool, play games, or take a nap if they felt like it. This particular year saw a massive interest in the swimming pool. Out of approximately 160 band members, 86 of them decided to go swimming. It was very entertaining for the chaperones that accompanied them. The boys performed a few rounds of “wave diving”. They would line up along an edge and then dive in one at a time in consecutive order but quickly enough to have the appearance of a cresting wave. Then they decided to see how many of them the men’s sauna could hold. This cycle happened a couple of times. They ended up getting 41 boys into the sauna. To celebrate, they began a belly smacking contest. This eventually got the attention of the girls, who joined in. There was a lot of laughing, encouragement, and fun going on. The lifeguard on duty later complimented our group as exceptionally well behaved. Despite being loud and very active, they never caused any trouble. This is a prime example of what Mr. Zamborsky and our entire Jenison Fine Arts programs strive to instill in their students. You can have fun while remaining respectful and within the boundaries. This made us all very proud. As a further example of the responsibility these students are expected to exhibit, without any reminder from the chaperones, they abruptly left the pool as a whole to return to their rooms and get ready for dinner and the next scheduled rehearsal time.
The evening rehearsal was done on the football field. Many parents came to watch the latter part of this time. The band worked hard during this time and was really trying to make good progress. The run-through went very well and you could tell they were excited to perform it in the stadium.
After this performance, they quickly cleaned the equipment off the field and hustled back to the residence hall to shower and dress for the annual pizza and dance party. The building this is held in is air conditioned which is a welcome treat as well. The music was loud, like it’s supposed to be, and the room was filled with bodies. As happens with most dances, there are some who prefer to tune out completely, some who prefer to watch, and some who like to dance. A second room was provided for those who preferred to be in a quieter place. Some of the more popular songs were Dancing Queen and Bohemian Rhapsody. Most of the songs were more contemporary and all of them were student selected. The dance continued later into the evening and we finally headed back to the residence hall just after 11:00. Today was a long but satisfying day for all and it was time to rest.