2011 Velvet Knights Audition Camp #1 Report
Mother Nature tends to have a strange sense of timing, offering exposure to the elements at unwarranted times. Yet even with the torrential downpour that accompanied the weekend, the 2011 Velvet Knight Auditions were engaging, memorable and most importantly – fun and educational. Taking place in the beautiful Chino Hills area, Townsend Junior High played center stage for the crucial weekend. Those who braved the slick highways and labyrinth of traffic found that right from the start there was a considerable difference in terms of the atmosphere, approach and manner upon which the goals for the season were addressed.
One of the central messages that opened the entire weekend was the importance of change. Not simply for the organization, but as well as establishing a new legacy for the Velvet Knights in a new decade. In regards to such lofty statements actions tend to speak louder than words, but you would have been hard pressed to find someone who was not entirely engaged with the information offered by the staff; or the sense of camaraderie that quickly forged itself in the short span of two intense eight hour days.
Even more inspiring was the participation of some of the Townsend Junior High music students. Brass players and percussionists alike participated in the physical training sessions, as well as the portions that dealt with teaching the musical basics and review of the audition material. Several parents also stayed to observe the weekend activities, interacting with their children and the staff in a positive manner.
?It?s one thing when you see a high school kid get disappointed if they have to leave an audition early. But it really is another to see a young middle school student actually show that they?re mad cause they have to leave,? Program Coordinator Ken White says, smiling as he?s explaining the scenario he witnessed during the first day of auditions.
?I?m sitting there watching this bass drum girl who is so into it, and then her mom comes to pick her up and immediately her face just changes from really happy to really mad! She didn?t even want to talk to her mom after that, and it?s because she didn?t want to leave. She was having a good time and it?s a great indicator of the vibe the corps is trying to establish right from the beginning, and all these young people notice it. It?s about learning and having fun and that?s
what we see happening right now.?
As the weekend came to a close, it was difficult to dismiss the sense of excitement brewing in the air. The energy was irrefutable and with the discussion occurring amongst staff and members alike, the 2011 incarnation of the Velvet Knights will indeed forge a new identity that draws from the old, but also plans to branch towards the horizon to embrace the new.