By Will Plenk The success of a camp can always be judged by how much caffeine it takes to stay awake on the ride home. On this scale, last weekend was an incredible success. As usual, Matt Haines, Sarah Paradis (an awesome euphonium player, who writes great webmoirs - check them out at yea.org) and myself arrived at camp about a half hour before the start. We leave directly from orchestra rehearsal in Ithaca, N.Y., and so by the time we get there, we are absolutely famished. However, thanks to out amazing friends Clifton and Paula, there was a big beautiful pizza awaiting our arrival. The pizza shrieked in pain as we engulfed it, but its cries were silenced by our stomachs, and for a moment, all was quiet. Clearly, the camp was off to a great start. Despite the thin numbers at the start of rehearsal, by Saturday morning there were about 67 brass players, and all who were expected to show up for the percussion line. The brass numbers are incredibly high for this time of the year, and this can only be seen as a good thing. The staff in attendance was also amazing, and rightly so, as we received great changes in "Songs From the Wood" and "Bouree," as well as about two minutes of new music for "Thick as a Brick." As for marching, much was done in preparation for next camp, when the corps will be outside learning drill for the opener. If the drill is even half as exciting as the music, it will definitely be something to look forward to. Another thing being prepared for is a gig the Cadets have playing at a gala for the governor of New Jersey. This will be a great chance to get in a performance situation where anything can happen. The corps also gets to stay and hang out in a hotel that night, which of course will be a good time -- good friends, good music, maybe some good food -- it does not get much better than that. We're playing the usual "Star-Spangled Banner," a patriotic march, and whatever else they ask us to play. Whatever it is, I hope the governor likes chocolate. There was no ensemble rehearsal at this camp, but things are going great for the brass, and the drums are doing what they clearly do so well.
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