Marching Band: How has it Been Affected by the Pandemic?

Sara Mishkind, staff writer

The Marching Band has been a huge part of our school for a long time. Many people throughout all the grades participate in marching band and many more enjoy watching the marching band at competitions and football games. So the question is, how is marching band handling the effects of the pandemic? 

For the time being, it seems like the marching band will be continuing with practices. However, there will be no competitions.

“We do not have any competitions this year. The competitive circuit we participate in, USBands, is offering a virtual option this year, but we are not participating,” says Marching Band Director Michael Niedziejko. Even though the marching band isn’t participating in competitions this year, that doesn’t mean that they won’t have a chance to perform for an audience. The marching band will be able to show off how hard they work at football games.

“The marching band will participate at home games this season beginning on Friday October 2nd”, says Niedziejko.

While extracurriculars come with their own risks, according to a document written by Mr. Niedziejko  about the marching band procedures, there are many protocols in place to keep students and staff from getting sick. The students will be required to wear masks at all times, the exception being when the band members have to play their instrument. Hand sanitizer will be available at all times, and everyone including staff are required to keep a safe six feet distance from each other. The marching band members are also required to clean and wipe down all the instruments and flags they touch. There is no sharing of instruments or flags. There are also screenings before every practice and temperature checks to further keep the students from being exposed.

“I think the school is being safe for marching band. I play pit so we keep the instruments farther away from each other and we wear masks cause we don’t play a wind instrument. We also use wipes to clean the instruments and mallets,” says Riya Mallya, a percussionist.

While the students do understand why it’s different this year, they can’t help but feel a little upset about the changes.

“I’m a little disappointed,” says Keira Arnold, a freshman in color guard, “They aren’t having competitions this year and I was looking forward to that.”

Having not experienced the joy of participating in the marching band before this year, it’s understandable that freshmen would be disappointed that the full experience is put off indefinitely, but they are seeing the bright side of things.

“The shorter practice times for preseason actually ended up working well for me. I do cheerleading so the shorter practice times for preseason worked better for me,” says Arnold. They seem to be making the most out of what they got this year, and are still working just as hard.

“I feel kind of disappointed and happy because I wanted the full experience, but I also did go to preseason for 6 hours a day, which I’m happy about,” says Mallya.

However, like most of the extracurriculars available this year, its fate is still not as certain as one would hope.

“As with all athletics and co curriculars, respective seasons may be paused or halted altogether depending on student and staff safety,” says Niedziejko. Although this is to be expected due to the state of the United States during this pandemic, it’s still unpleasant to think that the marching band might be halted.