And the band plays on – Changes from pandemic impact HutchCC pep band

And the band plays on – Changes from pandemic impact HutchCC pep band

By Adam Kolb / Co-Sports Editor

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect students and teachers around the world.

Classrooms are socially distanced, sporting events are being played with little or no fans, or not being played at all, and some schools have already made the transition online, eliminating face-to-face classes altogether.

In today’s world, it seems like everything is changing, and that’s exactly what has happened to the Hutchinson Community College band. Normally, during this time, the band should be playing at Blue Dragon football games, with basketball season around the corner. However, the global pandemic will make them wait until the spring.

“It is weird not playing at any football games right now, but also nice to have kind of a break from that sometimes,” band member RJ Stovall[1]  said. “It will make next semester twice as busy though, with basketball and football in the same season.”

Not only is the band unable to play at sporting events, the way they rehearse has been changed as well. Brass players are required to have bell covers on their instruments, in order to lessen the amounts of aerosols in the air.

While this may not be ideal for Stovall[2] , he’s just happy he gets to play.

“It is a lot more straining to play,” Stovall said. It blocks a lot of sound, and it kind of hurts the quality of sound. But it is nice to be playing even with those things.”

How the band is seated has also changed.

“Normally, in rehearsal, we would have three or four arcs that we sit in to hear each other better,” sophomore Johnny Huggard said. “But with the precautions that come with COVID-19 to stay six feet apart, we have to sit in rows and spaced apart.”

As with every other class at HutchCC, the band members must wear their masks during practice.

“The percussionists wear their masks full time, and the wind players typically wear their masks in between songs, or during large measures of rest,” Huggard said.

The pandemic has devastated the country since March, and it doesn’t seem like it’s slowing down. Despite this, there’s still some positivity that Huggard can take out of the situation.

“My favorite part about being in band has been making the friends that I’ve made, spending multiple hours on end with people that enjoy making music, and basically being a part of one big family,” Huggard said.

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