Stepping in unison to a steady beat, 65 Canyon Del Oro High School band members practice beginning band drills on the field a week before school starts. Band Director Grant Studer, now going into his second year of teaching, instructs the students through a variety of drills in order to prepare them for the upcoming year and football season where they will perform.
Studer graduated more than a year ago from Northern Arizona University where he studied instrumental musical education. Last year, he taught both guitar and band classes where he enjoyed working with the students and seeing them progressively improve over the year. Heading into this next year, Studer is even more excited as a good amount of freshmen are coming in and being able to be a big part of all the football games. The band plays during the games and also performs at halftime.
“It’s really cool continuing to watch the students grow. That’s one of the best parts about my job. Being able to see some of the same students for four years and see them mature into adults,” said Studer.
The CDO band camp is for freshmen all the way to seniors. The camp is a time to go over the basics of marching, the fundamentals of music, field performances and playing during the football games. Each day of band camp equals about one week of instructional time for the students.
“It’s a time for the students to completely immerse their brains into it and so they get time to just focus on band before homework kicks in or classes and sports,” said Studer.
For junior drum major Ryan Suedberg being involved in band is not something he will leave behind once he leave high school, but something he will take with him.
“A lot of people says its not a skill you’d later use in life but it gives you a love for music that you’ll carry with you the rest of your life,” said Suedberg, who has been playing music since the fourth grade and has been a part of the band since freshmen year of high school. “Now that I’m older, I hope that I can be a role model to some of the younger kids.”