By: Jen Russon
Sixth to eighth grade students with a love of making music have a chance to hone their craft for two weeks this summer at Ramblewood Middle School. The program is open to all Broward County students who found an instrument they love to play, and seek to get better at playing it.
Band camp director, John Nista, a long-time faculty member whose accolades include former students selected for All State Band, will once again teach band camp for beginning to advanced level students in June.
The middle school has offered the camp for 23 years running. Nista said no experience is needed for beginning level instruction; however, he did urge students who are new to marching band to report to school by 9 a.m. on the first day of camp.
Nista also encouraged students who are new to music, to come to a “Petting Zoo” event at his school. What will they be petting?
“Instruments, explained Nista. “It’s a taster session for the students. Flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets and trombones will be available to try out. This is a free event and open to any student going into 4th through the 8th grades.”
Nista said he hopes some of the students who come out for the taster session will join returning band camp students.
The summer camp culminates in an impressive concert held at Ramblewood Middle school, and represents a range of students, from those just beginning to play their instruments, to seasoned marching band performers. Beginning students can play the instrument of their choice, with both book and music stand included in the camp fee.
Parents and students who have participated in band camp before said it’s worth the $275 enrollment fee – not only because of what their kids pick up in skills, but because they see first-hand how all those after school rehearsals pay off.
Eighth grade trumpet player, Blake Sagotsky said that in spite of band camp feeling a lot like regular school, it was also a lot of fun.
“You get to hang out with your friends and play fun music for two weeks,” Sagotsky said.
Parents also weighed in on the experience.
“Watching my daughter, Mila with the rest of the band, I am always amazed at how much the kids accomplish in such a short amount of time. The camp is a great introduction to marching band,” said Gulemis Medina, who added that band camp was an opportunity to try several different instruments and find one she truly loved.
Parents who are interested in registering for the two-week camp, can find a registration form online. Summer band camp is from June 10 – June 21, from 1 to 4 p.m. The concert will be held on the last day of band camp at 5 o’clock in the evening. The petting zoo will be held after school on Wednesday, May 22, from 4:15 to 4:16 p.m.
Ramblewood Middle school is located at 8505 W Atlantic Blvd in Coral Springs.