By LARRY GAGE
Special to the PRESS
The 2018-’19 school year has officially come to a close and plans are in place for the upcoming year. For the instrumental music department at Port Isabel High this means that the schedule for Summer Band Camp 2019 is, while not necessarily set in stone, finalized and in print. The Press sat down this week with P.I.S.D. Head Director of Bands, Scott Hartsfield, to get his thoughts on preparations for the upcoming year and the current state of the program.
“Every year it’s a new group,” Hartsfield said. “I think it’s going to be a good group.”
No surprise there and part of the plan, as usual, involves the concept of sharing. It’s a rare Port Isabel High student who is not involved in multiple school groups and activities, and Silver Tarpon Marching Band members are no exceptions.
“We love sharing kids,” Hartsfield told the Press. “We never want to tell a group of kids, ‘You can’t be in band because you’re in something else.’”
Summer band camp starts soon “Something else” can include anything from sports to student council to taking advanced college credit courses. Then there are those students for whom band is everything, or at least their most important extra-curricular activity.
“This year it’s interesting because we’re still sharing, but there’s a core clique of seniors that are just – we call them ‘band junks.’ They just love band. We get here to school and they’re already waiting outside the door. There’s kids like Jerry (Sanchez, trombone player), who’s an All-State musician … and he’s one of our leaders,” said Hartsfield.
It is a never-ending process with members graduating out of the program and new members coming up from the junior high ranks every year.
“As sophomores they’re more solid,” Hartsfield said this week. “As freshmen they’re just wandering – everything’s new. We guide them, we get them there. It’s just an easier transition for them. They know what to do and when to do it.”
Want the whole story? Pick up a copy of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.