Pandemic prevents high school bands to play at games

Banned bands band together
Published: Sep. 17, 2020 at 5:34 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - High school football is back, but games will be quieter this year.

State rules that limit crowds to help the slow the spread of COVID-19 also don’t allow for marching bands at games this year.

But some high school bands are working on other ways to showcase their talents.

Lansing Catholic High School is doing in-person instruction this year, so the marching band is able to practice during class. However, many students are disappointed knowing all their hard work won’t be on display during the games.

“I’m sad because I feel like marching band is part of the fun of football games. It gets the team excited, the fans excited and also because we just love to play for people,” said Olivia Brodin, a Drum Major and senior at Lansing Catholic.

Drum Majors, Olivia and Emma, are working to keep up the band’s rhythm as well as its morale.

They admit it has been a challenge to keep morale up due to the constant changes to Michigan fall sports and extra curricular activities.

“A lot of worrying. A lot of anxiety about what was going to happen,” said Emma McClorey, a Drum Major and senior at Lansing Catholic.

But members with the Lansing Catholic Band are counting themselves lucky, as they are still able to come out to practice, unlike other schools where band is completely on hold during remote learning.

“We are lucky and can get drill on the field and work it out,” said McClorey.

School staff are making sure that the band practices safely with masks and social distancing.

“We have masks that we wear unless we are playing. We are getting masks that we can play with that have a slit that we can put our instrument through and masks for our instruments,” said Jan Tietsort, a fine arts teacher.

Tietsort says she plans on putting on an outdoor marching band concert in the fall where students can show off their skills to their parents.

“It’s not as much as we usually do, but it’s okay because we get to play,” said Tietsort.

“We have to remind everyone we aren’t technically marching for football, we are marching because we love it and love to play our instruments,” added Brodin.

The Lansing Catholic Marching Band hopes to hold their outdoor band performance in October.

Bands are allowed at games in regions that are in Phase 5, though they count against the maximum number of people allowed at events.

Mid-Michigan is currently in Phase 4.

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