Conquering the “Bandemic”

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Ani Pradeep

Marching during a “Bandemic”- Junior Gavin Pangan plays his clarinet during a socially-distanced rehearsal.

Ani Pradeep, News Editor

The Pleasant Valley Spartan Marching Band is one of the biggest highlights of the band program, especially for incoming freshmen. From playing at high energy football games to just having a good time with friends, the marching band season has always been a special experience for its members. 

However, the COVID-19 outbreak has forced the directors to evaluate how they would conduct the season this year. Many students feared this meant scrapping all pre and post-game traditions, band camp and other fun traditions that have existed for numerous years. 

Yet, at the end of the summer, the directors came out with a plan: a socially distanced marching band. This meant wearing masks during the time when instruments were not used and using cloths to cover up the bells of instruments in order to prevent the spread of aerosols.  

Moreover, students had to sit six feet apart during the games, and the band had to be split to ensure that the safety guidelines were being followed. Commentating about the first game, Tara Dauer states, “With the limited rehearsal time for each group, we made the decision to focus on making music rather than marching. I think we have been able to achieve that with the 2020  Spartan Marching Band. I am very proud of the students for the high quality  of their performance at the first football game.” 

The directors made sure these precautions were the best way to have fun and stay safe during a performance.

With this being such a drastic change, there were a variety of mixed emotions surrounding the decision. While some were in favor of this, others found the socially distanced marching band to be too different. 

Freshman student Trenten Walden says, “We are lucky to play with coronavirus, but I don’t like that we have the uniforms.” Walden is one of the many freshmen this year that are disappointed by the changes in the marching band. But they are appreciative of the fact that they still get to play this year.

Upperclassmen such as junior JT Muszalski find the new normal beneficial. Muszalski says, “Due to a condensed band size, I get more time to talk to my friends as well as get the needed help from the directors.” 

During past seasons, it was very difficult for directors to interact with all three hundred members, so the 2020 season is an upgrade. Nevertheless, the directors hope students can be positive and most importantly have fun this season.