After missing Bryce more than I ever have before, I was finally able to go with the group from the Salvation Army corps to go pick him up on Saturday. The first event of the day was an awards concert for the campers. Last year, Bryce won the solo contest and thus, played his solo for everyone in the concert.
This year, he could not find a solo he wanted to use, so I suggested he write his own. I figured that way he could showcase his strengths. When he showed me his final product, I was absolutely blown away. It looks like a professionally notated piece of music:
I think one of his great strengths is that he recognizes the need for variations in volume. Last year, his solo revealed many dynamics changes. Of course, there is only so much one can showcase when limited to performing on a mere snare drum.
I could read the disappointment on his face when he discovered that he took second place in the solo competition. The winner played an outstanding cornet solo which displayed great skill.
Bryce was disappointed again when he took the second place spot in the over-all top band awards. I was very proud nonetheless. He managed to snag the same "Top Instrumentalist" for the whole camp award again this year (which comes with a full scholarship to CMI - Central Music Institute). Altogether, he certainly cannot complain about the awards he brought home:
The medal is for the solo competition. The smaller trophy is for 2nd place in the Brengle Band. The largest trophy is the Brigadier Richard Miller Band Award for Outstanding Instrumental Musicianship.
I am really urging Bryce to take advantage of the scholarship. He may never again get the opportunity to attend this camp (a camp that I attended as a youth). Our school district is considering moving to a year-round schedule and the proposed 2012-2013 calendar reveals that CMI would fall entirely during the school calendar. This year, he would only have to miss the first three days of school.
I think this is feasible and he would easily get caught up. However, he is planning on playing football this year. He will miss a large chunk of practice time while he is gone at CBLI and doesn't want to then add another chunk of absence for CMI. The special guest there at the camp repeatedly urged Bryce to go to CMI, stating that he will easily make the top band there. I agree with another camper who was standing nearby during our discussion. When Bryce said he didn't think he should miss so much football practice, he observed, "It's not like you're gonna make the NFL someday!" It will be his choice to make, but I will beam if he makes the decision I prefer.