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What a fantastic week so far! The students are phenomenal–full of energy and excitement. But more importantly they are hungry for knowledge! The want to learn. Many students are going out of their way to ask questions and seek additional assistance.

Each day I have seen improvement from everyone in the conducting skills. Grasping the concept of how move your arms in a musical motion while moving from beat to beat evenly through time and space is very advanced for college students let alone high school students. This years group at BOA is perhaps one of the stronger groups we have seen in recent times.

Today we held a conduct off with all 474 students. The concept being for the staff to identify students who come closest to “the look.”. This is a very challenging task for the staff but at the conclusion we were all in agreement with the final 5 who were chosen.

The weather has been less than cooperative during our evening sessions. Massive thunderstorms have caused us to finish a tad earlier than we would like to. To date we have had 2 march offs and winners were:

#1: Katy Boggs, Eureka HS, IL
#2: Cody Benway, East Peoria HS, IL

A special young marcher jipned us for the week. Tommy, just 5 years old was hanging around the percussion area with his parents for the first day and then he discovered the Drum Majors. He was marching on the sidelines, learning how to salute and then Mr. Parks had him calling commands for the entire group. What a terrific kid!

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