COVID- 19 has affected the CHS Marching Band in many ways. Alex Shive is the marching band director. He has had to adjust the marching band program in order to meet the social distancing protocols. Shive says, “Every single time the full band meets all eighty-five members [must complete] a health screening” that has students answer a series of questions as well as to conduct a temperature check before entering the building. During practices and games, the students are not required to wear a mask except when inside the building, but they must stay socially distanced, and all staff must wear a mask. Students are not allowed to share or use any other student’s equipment.
Game days for the marching band have changed. The band stays in the stands the whole game except when performing at half time. The band is not wearing uniforms since all uniforms would have to be dry cleaned after each use, which costs a great deal of money that is not allotted within the budget. The use of props is also no longer part of their shows due to all equipment being adequately disinfected. The band will also not be going to away games due to the limited seating at games. Additionally, travel would cost too much for buses where only 16 passengers can sit due to social distancing. However, Shive is trying to find some way for the band to attend the game against Cass, our hometown rivals.
The marching band will not be going to any competitions this year due to COVID-19. Typically, the marching band goes to at least three competitions during the school year. Competitions start around September and October, and they are generally on Saturdays. This is a huge opportunity missed because the band puts so much time into preparing for these events. Shive says, “[Him] and Mr. Peterson are already talking about the show for next year.” this gives us a sense of how long it takes to build a show. He had to re-plan the show in order to meet the criteria based on the COVID-19 guidelines. He and his team have done a great job being able to adapt while implementing all the changes that have been required to ensure that the marching band gets to participate while staying safe during these difficult times.