Marching Six Feet Apart

Chairs in the band hall placed 6 feet apart for students.

Photo by: Tori Patton

Chairs in the band hall placed 6 feet apart for students.

Due to the coronavirus restrictions, the band will, unfortunately, only perform at home games this school year, meaning band competitions UIL and BOA will be canceled this year, TMEA region band will still be continuing via video recording auditions.

“I can’t say there is a competition season that everyone is looking forward to since we are still not sure we’re allowed to attend due to COVID,” in-person sophomore Bailey Phillips said. “However, the competition we are allowed to go to home games and I’m looking forward to the exciting games we’re participating in.”

With the social distancing in school, the marching band is also required to take precautions using bell covers on instruments to prevent the spread of aerosols during the playing process.

“Marching rehearsal is required to use bell covers to act as a mask for the student’s instruments,” Phillips said. “Brass players aren’t allowed to empty their spit near other players or locations where we march for the safety of others.”

The band is setting up their rehearsals and their performances. Everything is the same as last year but with a six-foot spacing between students. It will be as safe as possible with online students having the option of coming in for rehearsals in-person while some attend via Google Meet.

“This year is definitely challenging, but our students are properly handling it with a level of maturity that far exceeds their years,” Coordinator of Performing Arts Aaron Martin said. “We are extremely proud of how our students are cooperating with the new rules for this year and preparing.”

The students have mixed feelings about the new adjustments in terms of the band experience and the social distancing to keep them protected from the virus and with the new safety procedures. The band program is also handling the precautions very well.

“During rehearsal, we’ve decently spread out, but now when we have dismissal, we have to keep that distance,” senior Bonnie Thomas says. “Unlike the previous years when we could get into tight groups.”

Online students also attend both football games and rehearsals, but, for band students who are being quarantined for 14 days, they unfortunately, can participate in neither activities due to the safety of other students.

“For certain it was a struggle because for the students who are forced to be quarantined could only join meets for 2 weeks,” sophomore Lily Smith said. “I couldn’t participate in the after-school rehearsals or the practices since I was quarantined and instead the whole time I could only attend the Google Meets for attendance.”