With their first competition of the season mere weeks away, the Estill County High School Marching Engineers are already hard at work.
They are in the middle of band camp, and they’ve been practicing 12 hour days.
As is usual, some of summer’s hottest weather arrived just in time for camp.
The band practiced from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day last week, and this week students are practicing from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
“They’ve been working really hard,” said Audrey Worrell, one of the band directors. Despite the heat, she said, “Everybody’s been here.”
The band has almost 70 members, nine of them seniors. Twelve are “rookies,” and some are seventh and eighth graders.
Students and staff survive band camp by taking water breaks in the shade every 30 minutes. They also take hour-long lunch and dinner breaks.
As reigning state champions, the question of late has been, “Now what?” according to band director Jason Bowles.
“We have to approach this as, that chapter is written,” he said.
“We have to let it go, in the same way as if we had suffered a disappointing loss.”
Dramatic historical productions have worked well for the band, and this year’s is more ambitious than ever. Titled, “Pompeii, 79 A.D.,” it is a depiction of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which buried the Roman City of Pompeii in volcanic ash.
Bowles said the production will be complete with a volcano eruption, and will depict the same “total devastation” that the real event did thousands of years ago.
2016 Band Competition Scheduled
Sept. 10-Bourbon County
Sept. 17 Madison Southern
September 24- Morehead State
Oct. 1- TBA
Oct. 8- Madison Central
Oct. 22-Regionals@ Bourbon County
Oct. 29-State Semi-finals-Christian Academy of Louisville
State Finals- University of Louisville’s Papa John Stadium