Practicing with precaution


Laurie Carrillo

Junior clarinet player Morgan Larsen marches with a mask during a rehearsal.

Katelin Callahan, Staff Writer

Because of COVID-19, schools are enforcing mask-wearing and social distancing in order to keep case numbers down. Organizations across school, including the marching band, have taken many precautions to lower the risk for members.

During the first half of practices, band members keep a distance of four steps – 7.5 feet – between each other and keep their masks on. They begin playing their instruments in the second half of rehearsal, but must put their masks back on once they stop playing. Even during their short water breaks, they keep as much distance from each other as possible.

“We space our water jugs away from one another,” junior Waverly Chindavong said. “We don’t share snacks anymore either.”

While sitting in the stands at football games, students sit six feet apart and only take off their masks when they play their instruments.

“Last year I used to be bothered by sitting so close to everyone,” sophomore Elizabeth Kennedy said. “But now, I realize how much I miss sitting together with my friends during the games.”

In addition to their new seating chart, the band also changed their halftime performance.

“Last year we had a show where we came together in a circle, but this year we stay in lines so we can stay six feet apart and minimize contact with one another,” sophomore Emely de la Mora said.

Band’s competition season was canceled this year due to COVID-19, which came as a disappointment to both returning and new members as the organization was planning to compete at the state level.

“This was going to be my first year to compete and get the chance to go to state.” Kennedy said. “I think out of everything that has changed, that’s what affected me the most.”