Cameron High School Piccolo Player Emily Edwards heads up a column of musicians during band camp Tuesday morning.

Training Dragons

CHS Marching Dragons brave the heat for band camp

The Cameron High School Marching Dragon Band grinded through 100-degree temperatures during their preseason camp at Dave Goodwin Memorial Field Tuesday. 

With CHS Dragon Football Team’s home opener against Lincoln Prep less than a month away, CHS musicians began preparing their halftime show based on the soundtrack to the Pixar film “How to Train Your Dragon.” 

“Today has been a better day than [Monday] in terms of the weather. There is a little breeze has been a blessing. It may feel a little warmer than yesterday, but the breeze helped us out a lot,” Cameron High School Band Director Jacob Jennings said. “… Marching and playing uses almost every muscle in your body. Waist down, you’re moving. From the waist up, you’re trying to use all of your technique play correctly. The mental focus it takes also, to stay in line with those around you - front to back and left to right - and be able to play is a lot to ask. But, the kids are doing well.”

With multiple moving pieces to this year’s halftime show, more than another other show in recent memory, Jennings said have leadership at the student level is important. Leading the CHS Marching Dragons this year are Drum Majors Addi Clayton and Reagan Lodder. Lodder is a returning drum major, serving under 2022 senior Drum Major Noah Jagger as junior drum major while Clayton steps into Lodder’s previous position. Clayton credited Lodder for helping her dispel some of her misgivings about becoming a drum major while attending leadership camp in Platte City. 

“I was definitely very nervous when I first found out I was going to be a drum major … Reagan helped me not be so nervous. She said ‘It’s great. You’re going to be fine. You’re a great leader as is.’ The camp really helped me step out of my comfort zone,” Clayton said. 

Although getting together as a whole for the first time this year Monday, the band began meeting in sections last Friday. Tuesday, they took their first steps while simultaineously playing and marching. Lodder said they have a long way to go before they’re show ready, but they will have plenty of fun getting there. 

“We did our first marching and playing today. We’re in front of it, and watching it all. We see how some lines are out of order or staggered. We get to see through the year how that’s going to progress and straighten out. I think it’s pretty cool,” Lodder said. 

The band will debut their halftime show Friday, August 26. They will also have performances Sept. 9 during a game against St. Pius X, Sept. 23 aginst Maryville, Oct. 7 against Lafayette and possibly a performance in November, if the football team qualifies to host a postseason game.


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