How the Warrior Marching Band is Faring Amidst the Pandemic

Photo Credit/ Jamee Haney

 Jamee Haney

Contributing Writer

Members of the Warrior Marching Band, who are among the few students currently residing on campus, have been affected by the current pandemic that is causing many struggles in students, teacher, athletes, coaches and campus clubs.

“It feels weird, most of all,” said senior Jeremy Ketterer, former drum major.

“It is awesome being able to still play, and contribute to the band program here, but it is different than anything I’ve done in the past. Either way, it means a lot to me to still have music to look forward to.”

Many other members expressed similar feelings, and even had more to say about the safety regulations in place for the members of the marching band.

Sophomore Derek Lederer, feels “pretty safe with the face to face interactions because we are keeping our distance and taking all the right precautions in order to stay safe.”

Even though he finds it difficult to twirl with a mask on he always makes sure to move away from practice and fellow color guard members when he needs to take a breather.

One may question how these members can still play together, social distance and have fun through the hardships this pandemic is presenting.

Research has been done over the months spanning the growth of this pandemic.

According to guidance from the Minnesota Department of Health, they describe when and where masks are to be worn, size of the ensembles, coverings for instruments and a lot more to remain safe.

Director Brain Hodge, who over the pandemic received his doctorate in music, has taken these measures very seriously to ensure the members safety.

All band members are required to wear facial coverings when not playing their instrument, offering puppy training pads to band members to safely empty out instruments, while the color guard adorn facemasks throughout the duration of practice.

Members are required to stay six feet apart, but most importantly, still have fun.

While many members can stay on campus and partake on face to face interaction, many are taking the class solely online.

“I find online marching band to consists of a lot more personal responsibility to learn my music. I find it hard to read the music on paper. I function better in a group where I can hear everyone else,” said Sophomore Megan Lee on how she finds the online marching band experience

To help these online experiences Director Brian Hodge has weekly zoom meetings with these students to help them work through the music.

  Just shy a few weeks ago the members who are on campus or live in the surrounding area met up to record, while socially distanced, at the stadium and other notable spots on campus.

In order to include the members who are taking the class online, Director Hodge drove to their places of residence to record them so they can still be a part of the finished product.

While Director Hodge has certainly gone the extra mile for the band programs here, many would agree with senior guard member Corissa Cohen.

“I think it is good that we still have band, but it cannot replace the (in person) band camp and field show we are used to,” she said in an interview.

Even though many band members cannot be together during this pandemic they are still grateful to be able to the things they are passionate about.

In the upcoming weeks the marching band, will be practicing and doing many other recording sessions, with video, and building a virtual “field show” performance.

Email Jamee at:

jhaney3@live.esu.edu

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