2020-21 Band News

Hello to all of you and welcome! I don’t think anyone could have predicted this turn of events and I know there are a lot of questions. This note is mostly for parents but is addressed to students as well. First, if you have not done so, please join the Remind associated with your ensemble or your child’s parent group listed here:

Symphonic Band – a743b; Symphonic Band Parents – 6h9e7; Jazz Band – 815cb5; Jazz Band Parents – b6eh6; Wind Ensemble – 8643g; Wind Ensemble Parents – gcb63; Marching Band – 0bd04; Color Guard (parents and students) – wshscolor; Honors Music Theory – bke26b; AP Music Theory – 815cb

At the moment, all teachers will be on campus teaching those students that are not requesting to be virtual. From what I am able to ascertain, it appears that core classes will be taught on campus by the school teacher, and the other students that are virtual will be taught remotely by someone else. I do not know how that could apply to band and how or what that will mean for me or anyone in the program. I am still waiting for a return on emails to get an idea of what to expect. All I do know is that I will be on campus for all classes.

However, with the needs of social distancing, I have requested for the bands to have the cafeteria for space to practice so the required six feet may be applied. Since study hall will be there once again, that does not sound like an option. With that said, I really do not know how classes will be run in the band room as there really is no way to spread out that much with the size classes we have and really get work done.

I do know that everyone is required to wear masks, which is not possible for those that are wind instrumentalists (percussionists will have to wear them all of the time) and I still have not received word on how we will be addressing that either. The theory classes are small enough that they will not be affected the same way and will move forward without issue.

My plan for the band, depending of course on what I am told I am able to actually do, is as follows:

-For Jazz Band to run as normal but spread out more. This may or may not work but the ensemble is small enough that it can function, mostly, spread out. This will also give us time to really work on theory and improvisation skills more than in the past as restrictions may be in place on performing ensembles. I will not be selecting music until I know who will be in the classroom for the band. This applies to all bands.

-For Symphonic Band, we will also be spread out and work on the music in the capacity that we are able. It is likely that this group will have more time in small ensembles and more individualized work.

-For Wind Ensemble, I have no idea how we will have class in our band room as the ensemble is too large to possibly be effectively spaced out in the room. With this said, I have no idea if classes will be redrawn so that we have more or less one band class but split into two periods. In other words, everyone may be put into what I will call Wind Ensemble, with the class load evened out to accommodate any issues with social distancing.

For the latter classes, I plan on also attempting to work on more chamber like ensembles, more options for some basic theory, and the potential for more individualized work between myself and students. All of this depends on what options are provided given our space restrictions.

If sports and football moves to the Spring semester, and if some method of vaccination or cure is reliably in use, then the band may attend games in some fashion (pending talks with parents and Mrs. Holland). There is no way to social distance a band at games, so something would have to be in place to ensure everyone’s safety. Regarding color guard, we will not have a Fall Season but hopefully will be able to have a Winter Guard season. Again, please be patient while I figure out what options we will be granted. I do not even know if after school practices will be allowed yet. Color guard, your positive energy is infectious and really cannot wait to see you all on the field but for now we will not be able to do anything until options open up to all of us – Don’t give up!

Again, this all depends on who within the ensembles actually plan on coming to school and not being remotely taught. In essence, I am flying in a holding pattern the same as everyone else, hoping that ground control will give me some clear direction as to what we will be able to do.

For those of you that are currently in band but are planning on entering one of the theory classes next year, please make sure you sign in to the respective Remind using the code listed above.

I look forward to working with everyone again this year and making it a great year no matter what obstacles are put in our path. I hope everyone stays safe and healthy. Please do not hesitate to email me, or contact me through Remind if you have questions or concerns. Thank you for reading this and giving me a piece of your time. I pray for everyone’s health and a timely resolution for what is afflicting many. Take care and have a wonderful evening.