The Madison High School Marching Band is getting an early start on the season, and new band director Tim Eckart is impressed with the hard work and dedication he sees in the band members.
Eckart said the 80 students take camp seriously from start to the end, with a little laughter thrown in. He's also impressed with the Madison public.
"The support for the arts in this community has been tremendous," he said.
The community has an opportunity to support the school's music programs at a car wash the band is hosting on Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the parking lots at Montgomery's Furniture and Madison Family Dental. Proceeds from the fund-raiser go to support the band.
The Madison program also has support from the South Dakota State University music program, as several college students are helping with the camp. Vanessa Dykhouse, an SDSU senior from Volga, said the experience is good for future band instructors such as herself. It is different to come from the college mindset and learn to work with high school students, she said. The most challenging thing has been to find the happy medium between being a teacher and still having fun.
The Color Guard includes 14 girls who are practicing routines to go along with the songs the band is learning. Instructor and choreographer Chelsea Lamp said the group "adds flair and visual appeal" to what the band plays.
The Spirit of Madison Band and Color Guard will culminate their two-week camp with a performance at the practice field northwest of the school on Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. SuFuDu will perform at around 7:30 p.m. Six members of the Madison Marching Band are in that noncompetitive drum group. The performance is free and open to the public, and spectators are welcome to bring their lawn chairs to watch the performance.