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18th annual Las Cruces Middle School Band Camp held on NMSU campus

The 18th annual Las Cruces Middle School Band Camp was held on the New Mexico State University campus June 15-19.



Music teacher Isaac Medina shows student Amelia Hamilton a note on her flute during the 18th annual Las Cruces Middle School Band Camp June 15-19, at the NMSU Music Center. (NMSU photo by Harrison Brooks)

The camp included 265 students in fifth through eighth grade. Beginning, second and third year instrument players were instructed on techniques and skills throughout the week, and were able to feature what they learned in a performance June 19 in Atkinson Recital Hall.

"We have kids that come the first day and have no clue what instrument they will end up playing and by the end of the week they can perform with them," said Katie Tomicek, camp coordinator and flute instructor.

The camp was divided between beginning and second or third year musicians. The beginning group came in for three-hour instruction in the mornings while the second and third year students were given three-hour instruction in the afternoons. Each group used half of the time for band rehearsal as a group and the rest of the time in individual instrument groups for sectional practice.

Tomicek said that nearly half of the students that took part in the camp were beginners.

"On the first day of camp, instruments are demonstrated. Students are able to try instruments and then meet with an instructor to decide what they will play. The next day they begin learning," Tomicek said.

Las Cruces public band directors and community musicians acted as instructors throughout the camp. NMSU students assisted as well during practices and rehearsals.

The camp concluded with two separate performances June 19. The performances included renditions of "Twinkle," "Hot Cross Buns" and different versions of "We Will Rock You."