Band camp kids to perform free show


By Vlrnal Patel


This one time, at band camp, Dan. Wood's musical world changed. He had always held his clunky sousaphone with his hand above his shoulder. But a camp instructor made him grasp the marching tuba at the mouthpiece.


"Just something as small as that gets you out of your comfort zone and opens your mind," the 19-year-old said. "As a musician you need to be able to adapt quickly."


The skills Wood learned at the Colorado Masonic Band Camp in high school are now being taught to a new generation of kids as the annual program kicked off Friday.


The 105 Colorado high school kids are set to present a free concert at the University Ballroom at the University of Northern Colorado at 7 p.m. Monday, and will march in the Greeley Rocky Mountain Stampede Parade on the Fourth of July.


Until then, they'll do three things; practice, practice, practice.


Wood attended the camp as an Arapahoe High School student and liked it so much that he's come back this time around as a chaperone.


"It's a lot of hard work to unify all these different mindsets and get them to perform,"


Wood said. But the reward and experience of being opened up to new musical styles and philosophies are worth it, he said.


For instance, some music instructors want the horn to be blown loud and out of tune and then drag back into a melodious sound. Others, however, say never to flirt with that bad sound.


It's these diverging musical philosophies that students will get to be exposed to, wood said.


The annual band camp costs about $300 per student, and it's all paid for by the Masonic family, which consists of the male Freemasons and the female Eastern Stars.


The Free Masons are a fraternity of men dedicated to "taking good men and making them better," said group member Harry Lindstrom.


The group donates about $2 million every single day. Created in 1717 England, it's billed as the oldest and largest fraternal order in the world. One woman knits pot holders and sells them throughout the year. The $300 she makes is all sent to the group so a student can be sponsored for the event.


"We want people to see what Masons do," Lindstrom said. "This is just a small way that we show people who the Masons are."