Can’t be Banned from Band: Concert Band vs Coronavirus

Cant be Banned from Band: Concert Band vs Coronavirus

Freddie Wolfe, Journalist/Editor

 I’m sure you can list at least five ways the pandemic has changed your life. There are many precautions we’ve had to install into our daily lives. Though these changes to our routines are difficult to fulfill, they are necessary so that we can go back to normal one day. Bowditch’s band classes have been no exception to covid restrictions.

 When this school year started, I brought my clarinet, unaware I wouldn’t be playing for another two months. In band class, I used most of my time doing homework, but even though we were often stuck with nothing to do, our teacher still taught us a lot of things. Mr. McElroy, or Mr. Mac as we know him, taught us intervals and how to read music better. He made sure we still were learning. Mr. Mac was constantly trying to get us our supplies. The masks and covers we needed to play our instruments. 

 Luckily, my bandmates and I were not going to wait much longer. In October, our supplies were back-ordered, but as we reached the end of October, supplies were finally shipped! For the first few days of practice, we practiced alone outside. Eventually, we were able to do rehearsals together in the lunch area. Things felt like they were starting to go back to normal. 

 Because of Covid-19, band rehearsal is a little harder to set up. Usually, we would sit down and only have to set up our instruments. Because we share the lunch area with the rest of the school, we need to make sure that we have our chairs and stands out to play, and that they are put away for lunch. I and some other students set up these chairs and music stands every day, because our class is after lunch. Having to play outside due to Covid-19 also made it so we use wind clips to keep our music on our stands. The wind can be ruthless at times. The seagulls in the lunch area aren’t encouraging either. 

 Our new materials give our instruments new looks. We use instrument covers so our breath doesn’t escape our instruments completely. Some instruments just need to cover the bell, (like the trumpet) which is the bottom of an instrument where the sound comes out. Other instruments (such as the clarinet) need full instrument covers because the sound can come out of the holes. There are two round holes in these covers for our hands to go through. Of course, we humans need masks too. Our masks have holes in them, so our breath is just going through the instrument and nowhere else. 

 I can’t begin to describe how amazing playing music in a group is, and what impact it has on people. Sure, practicing alone can bring joy, but there is this great sense of community when we are able to play together. No matter what instrument you play, being in a band can help you find your sense of importance. Our music brings us together. When you are in a band, you do your part for the group and the rest of the group gives back.

 Though we aren’t back to normal yet, we are grateful for our amazing materials and teacher for making band possible this year. Thank you to Mr. Mac, the school district, and the Protec company for making sure we get to play this year. Also, a thank you to some of the students and the janitor for keeping the lunch area clean. I and Squidward (yes, I named my clarinet) greatly appreciate all of your support. We really can’t do band without you! Yes, we have struggled this year and have to continue our difficult adjustments. But if we do what’s best for our community, we can’t be banned from band!

Photo credit:https://musicalitynm.com/product/pro-tec-face-mask-for-wind-instruments-size-medium/