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Paul VI hosts annual Band Camp

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Can 70 diocesan instrumentalists ranging from 10 to 18 years old, representing 19 schools, take the stage and perform a top-notch 60-minute concert prepared that same week?

This was the ambitious goal for the 12th annual Band Camp held recently at Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax.

What was the formula for success? Staff the camp with 13 professional musicians, 25 musician mentors, a staff of booster managers and invite youngsters brave enough to give it their best.

In addition to Jan Siegfried, director of Paul VI’s instrumental music program, camp instructors included three collegiate music majors/freelancers, two Army National Guard musicians, three grade school band directors with the Gar Whaley School of Music, the director of the NoVA Home School Symphonic Winds, two Prince William County directors, and two freelance musicians.

A typical camp day consisted of jazz instruction for an hour, sectionals with clinicians for an hour, and full band for an hour. The musician mentors were all current Paul VI students, most of whom had been campers in the past.

Songs played at the camp’s final concert included “America, the Beautiful,” “Batman,” John Williams’ "Summon the Heroes," a medley of traditional Irish music called "Gathering in the Glen" and “The Buglers March.”

“PVI Band Camp is in its 12th year of summer toughness training — a testimony to what Diocese of Arlington school musicians can achieve through drive, a bit of kid humor, determination and a lot of fun,” said Siegfried.


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2018