By Mickey Winfield, PNT Staff Writer
While fall sports teams still have more than a week before their two-a-days begin, the Portales Ram Band has been hard at work all week in the 2008 Ram band camp.
“It’s really cool to see our friends again,” sophomore trombone player Will Lampkins said. “But it does get hot, that’s the only problem.”
One of the first changes you’ll notice in the band is the person leading it. Clovis High School and Eastern New Mexico University alum Jennifer Johnson takes over as the Ram band director, and Johnson says the squad is falling in line.
“I’m very pleased with the way the kids have worked,” Johnson said. “I have nothing to compare it to from last year, but it’s a great group of young men and women.”
Johnson, a music major in ENMU’s class of 1999, has specific goals in mind for this camp, which ends Aug. 8.
“(We want) to get everyone on the same page as far as marching,” Johnson said. “(We want to) get the freshmen up to speed before school starts and they have to focus on academics.”
Senior bass drummer Sara Riley explains why the camp is so important for her.
“(This camp) helps you grow,” Riley said. “Everyone gets together, everyone helps each other so you always learn something new every day.”
This season, in particular, is important to Riley because she missed most of her junior band season after injuring her hip in a stumble down some stairs.
“I want to be able to go through all of my senior season without any injuries on my bass line,” Riley said.
After the camp closes Aug. 8, the band students will perform at 6 p.m. on the school’s marching field.