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Working it out at band camp

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DRUMLINE IN STEP: Members of the Frankfort High School marching band drumline work on their footwork during band camp practice on Wednesday.
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BAND CAMP: The Frankfort High School marching band has been busy with two-a-day practices since July 5 as they prepare for the start of summer performance competitions culminating with the Indiana State Fair’s Band Day on Aug. 2.
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DIRECTION: Frankfort band director Jason Hutton provides instruction to his performers during band camp on Wednesday.

By ANDREW KRULL - akrull@ftimes.com

The Frankfort High School marching band has been honing their summer competition performance over the last week under some adverse conditions as they prepare for a busy couple of weeks culminating with the Indiana State Fair competition.

“We started last Friday on July 5,” band director Jason Hutton said of the start of two-a-day practices for band camp. “Everybody was excited to be here at 8 a.m. on the day after the Fourth of July when we couldn’t get to sleep until after midnight because of all the fireworks.”

The group has serenaded East Wabash Street in front of the school since that time with sessions from 8 to noon and then again from 2-5 p.m., with the weather finally cooling down over the last few days.

“We got some major sunburn issues on them because it was hot and we didn’t get many clouds,” Hutton said on Wednesday. “Luckily, we got a little bit of clouds today.”

However, he noted few complaints despite the steamy weather.

“They are doing great,” Hutton said. “No problems, they’re really good. I’ve got a good group of teenagers out here.”

The band will scale back to one practice a day next week as they prepare for their first competition on July 20.

“We’re getting ready for our summer marching band competitions,” Hutton noted. “We have one next Saturday at Muncie Central and then the Friday after that we’re at Anderson High School. The Friday after that we’re at the State Fair.

“We’ll be competing Aug. 2, the first Friday in August,” he added. “It’s Indiana State Fair Band Day. There’s going to be 40 bands competing at the State Fair. We’re getting our show ready.

“It’s called Hot Dog Knights, with a k-n-i-g-h-t-s. So the idea of our marching band show is that we’re building a civilization, kind of like ‘Game of Thrones’ a little bit. We kind of come together as a group. We make a sunrise, the shape of a sun coming up over our civilization. We make houses. We make a castle. We make a crown. We’re playing two songs from the video game ‘Civilization’ and we’re playing ‘Game of Thrones.’”

Hutton expected about 20 bands at the two competitions before the State Fair.

In between the Muncie and Anderson performances and the State Fair will be participation in the Frankfort Hot Dog Festival, which takes place on July 26-27. The Hot Dog marching band will do more for the festival than just perform on Saturday.

“Next week we do 8 to 12 (practices) and then we do our competition on Saturday and then the week after that we do 8 to 12 again, but then we also set up for the Hot Dog Festival,” Hutton said. “We also do the tear down (of the festival) in addition to what these guys are doing (performance wise).”

Those wanting to support the band can take part in a fundraiser at the IGA on West Walnut Street this Saturday as “we’re selling pork burgers and doing car washes from 10 to 2.

“I’m proud of them and come and support us at the car wash or come and watch us at a competition or the State Fair,” Hutton said in conclusion. “We’re like the fifth band to perform at the State Fair, somewhere around 9 o’clock, so it’s pretty early.”