Jeremy Fermin is starting his second year as Bradwell Institute’s director of bands and said this year he has a bigger class of younger musicians who he hopes to mold.
Fermin was directing the group near the Tiger’s track as the band members reached their final two days of Tiger Band Camp Thursday. During the week-long camp marching band members prepared for the upcoming season going over marching steps, music and choreography routines. The camp started at noon and went until 9 p.m.
Fermin said he visited Lewis Frasier and Snelson-Golden middle schools at least once a week last year to check on potential band members and ended up with 28 freshmen for this year’s marching band. He said he also has 22 returning sophomores. Fermin said there are 22 juniors and seniors in the band.
“So we are looking good in numbers, but we are really young,” he said.
Last year, the band held camp at Lewis Frasier while BI was being remodeled. Fermin said it was great to have camp at the school so they didn’t have to move equipment, and band members could acclimate to the new band room and high school.
Fermin said they start inside and split up the band members in sections to practice music. They also spend time in the gym, learning choreography. Later in the evening they head out to the track to bring everything together.
Last year the band literally rocked the crowd with its “Rock Through the Ages” show. It featured music from Queen, Bill Haley, Joan Jett, Journey and even current pop group LMFAO.
This year Fermin said they will be more traditional.
“The theme this year is, ‘Around the world in eight minutes,’ he said. “We will go through a melody of songs from Europe, then we go to Africa… using that song by Toto, then we will do Slumdog Millionaire’s Jia Ho… I think it won a Grammy for best musical sound track and then we will end with a patriotic tribute to America.”
Fermin said the full show will be featured in a home game toward the end of September, but they do plan to rock Donell Woods Stadium when the Tigers visit Liberty County High on Aug. 31.
“We have something big planned for the Liberty game, but still keeping in our theme,” he said.
Fermin, a Hinesville native, attended and graduated from Liberty County High.
He said he had a lot of help this year including his fiancé Claire Shaw who worked with the flag squad “It’s nice to have her on board,” Fermin said adding they met at Perry High School. “Her sister was actually the assistant band director before I took the position and that is how we met. Her father is a band director at Houston High School.”
Shaw teaches at Midway Middle School. They plans to wed next April.
Fermin attended the University of Georgia where he was a drum major of the 420-member Redcoat Marching Band and president of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, Men’s Music Fraternity. His recent accolades and awards include, 2010-2011 Sinfonian of the Year, 2011 Albert F. Ligotti Trumpet Award, and the 2010 University of Georgia Undergraduate Conducting Apprentice.