The 2018 Arsenal brass and percussion assembled January 19th through January 21st at Volcano Vista High School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Over the three days the brass section worked on the first two movements of our 2018 production, while the battery focused on unification of technique and approach. The front ensemble experimented with an early draft of the first movement which will be modified to better reflect the skill level of the musicians. All of the students came in well-prepared and ready to work, resulting in a very productive camp.
At this camp we put together the students from both the El Paso and Albuquerque audition camps. Overall, 43 young musicians were in attendance, making this the largest training camp ever conducted by Arsenal. Of those, 32 have now been contracted, putting the corps on track to not only exceed last year’s corps of 33, but to meet the goal of doubling the size of the corps with the addition of the color guard in April.
Beyond the rehearsal activities of the weekend, corps admin staff also spent time discussing Arsenal’s policies and reporting with the students. Special emphasis was placed on the corps diversity of membership and designation as a safe space, and admin staff made students and parents alike aware of our whistle-blower and reporting policies. Additionally, in following the example set by Drum Corps International, starting at the February camp, Arsenal will begin all hosted events with a safety briefing detailing emergency exits and meeting places. Although Arsenal is a young organization we are consistently striving to be a leader in the activity in all aspects, from our education program to the policies in place to protect our students.
We are grateful to Paul Blakey of Volcano Vista High School and Paul Morbitzer of the First Congregational United Church of Christ for assisting us with facilities for the weekend. We would also like to thank the members of the Albuquerque Public Schools board who attended the camp and the wonderful volunteers who helped feed and transport the students this weekend!