This afternoon in his daily press conference, Governor DeWine indicated that “skills training for all sports may resume on May 26th – as long as safety protocols can be followed.” This is promising news for marching band! We will be anxiously awaiting additional guidance from the school district and state organizations on what that means for marching band and sports in Lancaster.
While it is still too early to say anything definitive about marching band for the summer and fall, let me offer some answers to some questions you’re probably having. Please remember that things are changing daily, so these are simply our best guesses at this time.
Will we have marching band this year for sure?
Yes! Marching band is something band members really look forward to. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to provide a great marching band experience this year. It may look a little different, but we are determined to make it something really memorable for our students.
What safety measures will be put in place?
We currently have a safety plan ready to go for marching band and are continuing to adjust it as we get new information. It will likely include using face masks when not playing, social distancing, staggered rehearsal times, outdoor practicing when possible, efficient use of in-person rehearsals, and no sharing of equipment.
What will happen first once things reopen for band?
Just like we usually do, we will likely start with small group rehearsals (sectionals). As soon as we can, we will allow the use of school-owned percussion equipment for individual practicing and percussion tryouts.
Will we have band camp this year?
As most of you suspected, an away band camp like we’re used to is out of the question for this year, but as long as we are permitted to meet together, we will still be having a band camp. Right now, we are planning a “home band camp” at the new Thomas Ewing Junior High School during the week of August 2. As much as we can, we will reproduce everything we love about band camp, but with some improvements! We’ll have better air conditioning, a much lower cost, and everyone will be able to get a good night’s sleep in their own bed.
How much will band cost this year?
Understanding that many families may be having financial challenges right now, we will keep band fees as low as possible. We do not want finances to prevent any students from being in marching band. While a band camp will still have some costs involved, not going away will really help our families who are struggling. Specifics on fees will be outlined soon.
How will we get updated information?
All updates will be posted on the band website and social media. Check back often! Please help us out by sharing any updates with other band families. It is important that we all stay informed. We really appreciate your flexibility and understanding.
How can we best prepare for marching band in the meantime?
Every band member should be practicing daily. This will be very important to our success this year. We’ve lost a lot of really valuable rehearsal time this spring and will need all band members to be ready to rehearse together once we can. We also need everyone to be physically in shape. Get off the couch and start getting active!
What can we expect next?
Once we have more information we will be sending out digital band forms, a calendar of rehearsals and events, and a description of band fees. In addition, we will send out music and videos digitally so that all band members can begin working on their own. Especially this summer, it will be extremely important that band members prepare to the best of their ability at home, and come to rehearsal ready to put things together. Now is the time to really step it up!
I would like to thank all of you for your patience as we all wait for the day that we can be safely be together again. Please remember that we are working hard behind the scenes to be ready to provide a great band experience to your students. We are looking forward to a great year!
Director of Bands
Lancaster High School