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Bands adjust to new reality

The cancellation of the high school football season and the unlikelihood that marching competitions will be held this fall have area high school bands marching to the beat of a different drummer.

“This year is certainly presenting a challenge to many marching bands across the nation,” Tiarrah Crouch, band director at Prince Edward County High School said Wednesday, July 22, by email. “The Prince Edward Marching Eagles will continue preparing a show in hopes that they will have an opportunity to perform it via livestream or a socially distanced parent performance towards the end of the semester.”

Dr. Chip Jones, superintendent of Cumberland County Public Schools, said marching band would remain an elective class at the high school and that he was confident Scott Gordon, the band teacher at Cumberland, would work to keep the band moving forward.

Crouch said students will rotate in and out of the physical classroom as well as spend time on the football field learning drills and rehearsing while maintaining social distance.

“At this time we are not able to have after-school rehearsals or participate in our typical sporting events, but my students and I are maintaining positive and open-minded (attitudes) for the upcoming season,” Crouch said in her email. “We share stories with one another frequently about how music has the power to heal and bring those together. This is a perfect time to embrace the power that music has for students to feel connected to one another during this unprecedented time. No matter how the season looks for this year, we will do it together and make it fun.”