Monday, June 22, 2020

Band Camp and Other Info

Buckle up, because this is going to be long!

It's been a month or so since I've published a lengthy informational post, but I honestly haven't had any solid info that I could give you, so I haven't posted. This morning Dr. Dixon did a Facebook Live video on the Adel News' Facebook page, and if you haven't seen it, you should check it out. It has some information on when school will start and what it might look like. As for band, football, etc., he simply said to ask the directors/coaches, so I thought I should put up this post and let you know everything that I can. Just keep in mind that the theme of this post, along with most things school-related right now, is "I don't know," as situations tend to change daily and weekly. Let me say that, whatever school and band look like this year, the students' health and safety is my number one priority, so we're going to do everything we can to have marching band but in the safest possible way. That may mean that things look a little different at times. Just know that we may need to do things in the name of health and safety that could be perceived as being overboard, and I understand if there are some frustrations because of these, but I can't overstate how much I want everyone - students, parents, and instructors - to remain healthy during these difficult times.

The biggest question I get is, "Are we going to have Band Camp?" The answer today is YES, Band Camp will be as scheduled: July 20th-23rd for music/VU routines and 27th-30th for drill. Notice that I didn't say the first week would be inside and the second week outside, because that may no longer be the case. The Georgia Music Educator's Association has developed a six page document with guidelines for marching band, and one of their recommendations is that bands practice outside as much possible, continuing the social distancing of 6 feet apart between members (which works out to a 3-4 step interval in "marching band speak"). That may mean that we have to rehearse our music outdoors and spread apart. At this point, we may not even be able to have the entire band together at one time, as the maximum allowed per group is currently 50 people including instructors. I hope that we are at a point where that is relaxed by July 20th, and we can have the entire band together at the same time, but I don't know. If not, we would have to have staggered practices with smaller groups coming in on different days or different times. Right now we're going keep the same schedule until I see that we can't, and then we'll make some adjustments. I'll post more later about the specific modifications that we may have to make to have a safe band camp.

I've been asked several times about the officer list. That has to be done in conjunction with Drum Major tryouts, because Mr. Fortner and I need to decide who the Drum Major and Band Captains are before we can fully assign officers. Other demands have slowed down that process for us, but it hasn't been forgotten, and it will all be up very shortly.

I've also been asked numerous times about the show theme for this year. I'm ready to release that, but, before I do, let me give you a little info about how the show will look this year, as it will be different from the last few years.  Due to COVID-19 restrictions and hurdles that we will be working to overcome, I'm not planning to participate in any band competitions this Fall. At this point, I'm not even sure that there will BE any competitions to attend even if we wanted to. That means that we don't need a difficult "competition type" show. I am going to pare the number of songs down to three and write easier, linear drill with far fewer sets. If we have band students who get ill during the season and are forced to be out of school for two or more weeks, this music and type of drill will make it easier to fill in empty spots and allow the rest of the band to continue.

That's all for now, and I'll continue to update as information becomes available. Remember to keep your distance, wear a mask, and wash and sanitize your hands!

Click here to check out the slideshow and find out this year's show theme!

Band Camp and Other Info

Buckle up, because this is going to be long! It's been a month or so since I've published a lengthy informational post, but I hone...