Music department bonds for success September 14, 2009 — by Kyumin Shim This year, the music department hopes its students are going to know each other extremely well. The department is putting more emphasis on building stronger bonds between musicians this year as they plan the annual retreats This year, the music department hopes its students are going to know each other extremely well. The department is putting more emphasis on building stronger bonds between musicians this year as they plan the annual retreats “We make better music when everyone’s together,” said music director Michael Boitz. This year, Boitz believes that by creating opportunities for each musician to get to know each other better and build new friendships within the band, it will affect the music department’s overall success. He also understands that when there is a larger group of kids, it’s harder for the students to get to know each other, so this year the music department focuses on this problem. Many musicians feel that the overnight camps will have a stronger effect on creating friendships between students. “It’s almost like a giant sleepover,” said junior Amanda Jeng. “You really get close to people and it’s really fun.” So far this year, the marching band and Color Guard stayed for two nights at Walden West, an overnight campsite, on Aug. 7-9. They spent a night at the camp and “came out with a sense of togetherness,” said junior Nick Renda, after a weekend of playing team-building games and getting to know the new members of the marching band. Next, the music department plans to give the same experience to the choir and orchestra in their own retreats. The choir will soon travel to Camp Campbell from Sept. 18-19, where they will be undergoing a similar program to what the marching Band experienced over the summer. The goal is for these musicians to have a chance to build relationships with one another and to ultimately make better music together. Boitz notes that these programs are not “content or instruction based…[but rather] for the kids to know each other and to have fun.” For the orchestra students, there will be a day-long event on Sept. 19. A widely beloved motivational speaker, Scott Lang, will again visit the musicians as in previous years. Then, they will end the day with an excursion to Saratoga Springs, a nearby picnic and recreational area, for mingling and roasting s’mores by the fire. “The larger the group, the harder it gets to know each other,” said Boitz, but the music department hopes to overcome that issue with these bonding retreats.