Ten students from the Astoria High School Marching Band spent a week at the University of Oregon's Summer Marching Camps, July 18 to 24, and proved they could glide step with the best.

The band students joined drum majors, section leaders, color guard performers and percussion players from all over the Northwest to learn marching, flag and drum techniques, leadership skills and musicianship. The AHS marchers will pass along the techniques they learned to their fellow students to help raise the quality of Astoria's marching band program. Schools that supported the UO camps by sending large numbers of students received scholarship money for next year's tuition.

Camp director and Oregon Marching Band director Todd Zimbelman recognized several metropolitan high schools, whose huge band programs easily encompass 200 students or more, and then announced one more scholarship for a small, coastal school whose marching program was just getting off the ground - and presented the final award to Astoria. The AHS contingent of 10 students rivaled the size of the other schools' groups - and represented close to one-third of Astoria's entire band.

Drum majors MacKenzie Rascoe and Melissa Grothe, section leader Rachelle Braaten, percussionists Brandon Peterson and Nick McPhatter and flag team members Rachel Johnson, Trista Brewer, Amanda Jones and Shellyene Scofield all deserve congratulations for dedicating themselves to the sweltering week of camp. Sophomore drummer Sarah Johnson won the Most Outstanding Potential award in the percussion section (and a $50 scholarship to next year's camp). Out of 23 top high school percussionists, Johnson "tore it up," camp leaders said.

The AHS Marching Band is already busy raising funds for its trip to the San Francisco Bowl in December. If you would like to help these talented students by contributing or volunteering, contact director Tracy Hafer at 325-3911.

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