PHS band completes camp, performs show

Tony Parra: PNT Staff Writer

The Portales High School band members capped off a two-week band camp with a performance Friday evening for parents and Portales residents a few days before classes begin.

Approximately 65 PHS band members showed off their performing and marching skills during a 30-minute exhibition at the PHS gym parking lot. The band is divided into three groups — flag girls, percussion and wind instruments.

They are being led by first-year director Brandon Boerio. Boerio has been teaching in the district for three years, most recently at Portales Junior High.

“They’ve been working really hard,” Boerio said. “Pre-season is really important for conditioning and learning the fundamentals. We have to be one as a team.”

Boerio said the PHS band will be in four or five competitions during the year and members will play during home football games and road district football games. The band’s first performance will take place during the first home football game against West Las Vegas on Aug. 26.

The PHS band members have been in camps for two weeks from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day with breaks during the day.

“It’s been tiring, but it’s been fun,” Timothy Lucero, a PHS junior who plays the baritone, said. “It’s important because we have to get it down before our performances.”

He has a few members in the band who help with the leadership aspect. Two of those students are seniors Jeremy Smith and Autumn Wilkerson. Smith and Wilkerson participated in a Texas Tech band camp in early July.

“We were able to learn different conducting styles,” Smith, a drum major, said. “We learned leadership and what the Texas Tech band director expects from his drum majors. It was a really good experience.”

Smith said PHS band members will be busy once school starts with practices before school starts every morning. Wilkerson, also a drum major, said drum majors offer leadership to help the younger band members.

“We’re (drum majors) pretty important, but we don’t want them to think we are trying to control them,” Wilkerson said. “We try to be their friends and are open to any questions they have.”

Boerio said the students will be participating in fundraisers throughout the year to compile money for a trip to California during the spring. The trip will be similar to the one the PHS choir group took to New York City from April 29 to May 2. The students sang at the Music Maestro Please festival in New York City on May 1.