This past weekend was our first visual camp for the Phantom Regiment’s 2006 production of FAUST! As expected, it was challenging and exciting.

We rehearse at Beloit Memorial High School, just north of Rockford on the Wisconsin side of things…they have a full size indoor fieldhouse. The back field isn’t quite deep enough to learn the drill as a whole, but it does do the job in helping get us a head start on visual, in spite of the cold northern Illinois winters.

Camp started out with 55 of the 80 brass in house right at 7 pm, and by breakfast that next morning we had all but 3 brass players in and the entire battery (we won’t see the guard until April and the Pit until May). Even though this camp was primarily a visual camp, we didn’t want the music to be overlooked, so Friday night started as a music rehearsal, helping get everyone re-acquainted and into the Phantom Regiment swing of things!

Saturday morning we woke up, had a hearty breakfast and got right down to business. With an intense visual block in the morning session, the staff really cracked down, making everyone realized that they had to be meticulous about holding themselves to a higher standard.

At the end of a grueling basics block we set a few pages of drill before breaking for lunch.

After lunch we dove back into the drill…and by the way, our visual staff is phenomenal…these folks really have their act together! We are more than well on our way to being better than we were last year.

I felt we were quite efficient and got everything done that we wanted to, so when we came back after dinner, we could spend time refining everything. A wonderful dinner break including a little fellowship and a small nap, and we were
re-energized to finish the day out strong.

Sunday morning came and we wanted to make sure all that we had done made sense. We got in a good stretch (since everyone was sore after a taxing visual day) and then a good solid music
warm-up session followed before we set up for some maoving-and-playing runs.

Putting it together wasn’t as difficult as last year, as our staff is not fishing around this year to figure out what works (almost the entire visual staff is back from 2005), but are rather building on the great success from last year!

After a few reps of the 25 pages of drill, and then a few successful runs of the entire music show standing still, we had our usual closing meeting and everyone headed on their separate paths.

It’s exciting to know that there is just one more camp and then it’s move in time. The anticipation of the season is riding high, and most of us really just want the summer to be here now!

SUTA ~ Darian Sanders
2005 Lead Trumpet
2006 Conductor