Marching Band Takes Safety Measures During A Pandemic

Marching Band gives it their best despite challenges with COVID-19


Alix Queen

Marching band practices earlier this season with COVID-19 restrictions, on a beach-themed spirit day.

Grace Burke, Reporter

It’s no question that things are changing, but how are these changes affecting students who play instruments? The answer is: tremendously. Spacing has been an issue, as participants must be far enough apart to take off masks, but close enough together to portray their story, called One Small Step.  

To stay safe, the marching band is taking some safety measures, including keeping a mask on when possible, social distancing, washing hands, not traveling as much as usual, making sure people stay home when they aren’t feeling well, wearing plastic face coverings while at the middle schools, and “living in the land of hand sanitizer,” as band director Mrs. Magno Parsons jokes.

Magno-Parsons claims there’s not nearly enough repetition due to the reduced rehearsal times, and that it’s stopping the show from being as clean as usual. “We would usually have done all these fundamentals at camp,” Magno yelled as the band practiced marching.

They are also impacted by the split schedule because they are only able to practice all together from 6:00 to 8:30 on Wednesdays. 

Victoria Mozolewski of the color guard performs at halftime at the varsity football game against Francis Howell North on Sept. 25. (Katie Swanson)

“Being separated is kind of a good thing, you really have to focus on where you’re going to be.” Magno claims. This also means the students are only getting an hour and a half of practice in the morning on the two days they go to school, and on Wednesday nights, not including private/individual practices or sectionals (which the section leaders can call requiring their group of instrumentalists to practice together). 

There have been some suggestions to require or provide special masks so the students can play while wearing something over their face. These masks have special openings that allow instrumentalists to play their instruments while staying safe.

Eric Welker, who is the color guard captain, believes new masks would be a great idea.

“The ones distributed by the booster are very nice, but there are some major issues with them,” Welker said. “The fabric is very thin and can make the user feel like they are drowning in fabric, not to mention the fact that the thinner masks don’t allow for better protection against COVID-19.”

The marching band has changed in many ways due to the COVID crisis, but participants are working through it to create the best possible outcome. Kassandra Welch, color guard coach, feels the guard is being as safe as possible, and Magno feels the rest of the marching band is doing their best, despite forgetting to put their masks back up after playing.