Band students are making the most of marching season

Isa Grunwaldt, Staff Writer

The tune of this year’s band class will definitely have to be played to a different beat. Many band students are trying to make the most of this year’s complications by emphasizing what they can do over what they can’t do during COVID. 

One of the major complications that many people will miss regardless of whether they are actually in band class is that shows performed by the band will no longer be held during football games. All performances will be live-streamed on their band Facebook page. This order has been challenged by parents across West Michigan and the petition to let the kids play is, “As of Tuesday, Sept.15 at 3:30 p.m., …  garnered 9,675 signatures with a goal of 10,000” (MLive Miller).

On top of not being able to play half-time shows of pregame football games, no live spectators are allowed for these performances, at least so far. Football games and other sports are all currently limited to two spectators per person, so why wouldn’t band kids be able to have their own parents come and watch while still following the two-person rule? 

In order to stay within regulations, there will also be limited movement on the field during these performances. Band students are adding simple, safe, socially distant choreography to go along with their performances this year of “Magnificent 7”, “La Fiesta Del Tigre”, “Paint It Black”, and yes, “Old Town Road”. “We are just trying to have fun and not go insane,” said Odin Gollannk ‘21. “We can’t march and play at the same time, so we’ve just been playing and preparing for [what we can do],”

Despite these challenges and more, many band students like Gollannek ‘21 are pushing past the negative. 

 “We are trying to have a positive outlook on marching season, and trying to make the most out of what we can work with,” said Elle Krause ‘22.

For example, something else band students won’t take part in until it is safe to do so is wearing the classic band jacket and pants. But that doesn’t mean that the students won’t be uniform together.

“We will be using our band t-shirts for performances instead,” Krause ‘22 said.

The first band performance of the year was held this past Wednesday on Sept. 16 at 7:00 p.m. and you can find the recorded performance on Facebook on the East Grand Rapids High School Bands-Official page.