As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting all aspects of our lives, and the marching arts are no exception. Other local band directors and I have spent the past several months reviewing how our's and other area school boards have reacted to the ever-developing guidance from the national and local health organizations. We have had many conversations about how field our marching band shows in a safe and meaningful way. Regrettably, we do not see a way to do that. Also, today, we received notification from the Florida Bandmasters Association, that they are canceling district marching festival for the entire state. I anticipate other local and regional marching festivals to do the same. Given the certainties we have to date, the other band area band directors and I have decided to cancel the "marching" aspect of the marching band this year. Instead, for this year, we will have a "Pep Band."
While it is not ideal for those who love the marching band, having a pep band will allow us to continue to have a presence at football games while limiting rehearsal time outside of school. The aim of this is to lessen the chance of exposure to the COVID virus.
So, what happens now? We will follow through with our planned rookie camp during the week of July 13th. - 16th., and we will also have our full camp on July 20th. - 23rd. After that, we will meet again when school starts.
We are planning on having lots of fun music ready to play and want students to have the opportunity to make music with their friends. We are lucky that the Santa Rosa School District values music education and the vital role it plays in the development and health of our students, so we will continue to offer the best music program we can!
We still plan to have Colorguard meet as a class. For both band students and Colorguard students, we will explore avenues for alternative forms of performances for the community.
As far as other fall marching band activities are concerned, we will continue our conversations, review information as it becomes available, and make further decisions closer to the start of the school year.
Although this news is undoubtedly disappointing, we hope you will understand both our reasoning and the desire to keep your children--our students--safe.