TORRINGTON >> It was just a normal day for campers and staff at Camp Moe Wednesday afternoon. That is, until Torrington High School’s band came marching down the path to surprise campers with a performance.
As part of trying to do more “surprise activities” for campers, camp Director Katherine Marchand-Beyer contacted the band’s director, Wayne Splettstoeszer, and asked if the band would be able to surprise the campers for a day.
Because many of the band members have ties with Torrington’s popular summer camp, Splettstoeszer kept the performance a secret from the high school students as well.
THS senior Steven Hintz said he didn’t know he was playing at Camp Moe until Wednesday morning.
“(Splettstoeszer) just told us we were going to play somewhere, but we didn’t know where until this morning,” he said.
Hintz said he enjoyed playing with the members of the band around town for different events. Although Hintz had no idea he would be playing for Camp Moe, he said he was happy to be there playing for the kids.
“The kids are happy, so we’re happy,” he said.
Campers were able to enjoy their lunches while the band played a variety of songs. The band first marched around the entire campsite and campers came running to see what the source of the music was. The band then came to a stop and performed a few more songs, including a beat where campers were able to chant, “Go Camp Moe!
The kids were then given a chance to test out a few instruments and many lined up to try their hand at playing the trumpet and the drums.
The high school students encouraged the young campers to get involved with music and to learn how to play an instrument.
“The kids here love, love music,” said Marchand-Beyer. “We have music classes and I thought it would be a great opportunity for the kids to see what a band is all about and hopefully it will stem more of an interest in music involvement.”
Senior Chris Karpeichik plays the trumpet for the school’s band. After playing a few songs for the kids, he said he enjoyed seeing the kids get excited about the music and was happy to bring a surprise to the camp.
“I think it’s a great environment for the kids,” he said.
Camp Moe is named in honor of Emil “Moe” Renzullo, who died in 2010. The camp is offered for children with and without disabilities and offers a way for children with different needs to interact without setting anyone apart.