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Marching band adapts to times

Camp held despite competitions canceled due to COVID pandemic

Members of the Washington High School marching band line up at a social distance for a snack break during band camp on Monday. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
Members of the Washington High School marching band line up at a social distance for a snack break during band camp on Monday. (Gretchen Teske/The Union)
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WASHINGTON — Alexis Ide and Sami Frana have been part of marching band their entire high school careers but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will not be able to march their senior year.

Marching band competitions have been canceled due to the pandemic, which has caused the band to not pick a show to learn and perform this year.

However, a two week band camp wrapped up today that was focused on teaching students the basics.

Students were spaced out 6 feet apart in order to keep a proper social distance and were masked when not on the field.

Director Don Hughes has been involved with the band for the past 20 years and said he has never had a year where the band was not able to compete.

“This is brand-new,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

Instead of spending the two-week band camp learning a show, the band has been working on basics and preparing for next year.

“We’ve been doing a lot of our basics and getting our pregame set. That’s about the only thing that we’re sure of is going to happen with games,” he said.

Hughes said the plan is find music from past shows for the band to perform in what he calls, “park and bark” shows.

“We’ll just march out there with our instruments and our stands and play,” he said.

Seniors are the most affected by the lack of competitions, he said.

Although they are disappointed, they are hard at work assisting new band members learn the basics.

“Some of our seniors have joked that here we are with this hard-working class, but we don’t have a place to show it. But, we’ll be that much stronger next year,” he said.

Frana has to sit the season out due to an injury but is supporting the band from the sidelines.

“It’s nice that it’s not just me missing out, but it does suck because everybody else doesn’t get a full season like we usually do,” she said.

Ide said she is glad to at least have a season but is bummed about the lack of competitions as well.

“It’s nice that we’re still having a season. At least we’ll get to make memories, but it’s just not the same,” she said.