Full band practices scheduled for the week of Monday Aug 10 through Thursday Aug 13 have been suspended. Band camp Aug 17-20 possibilities for new practice schedule and procedures, pushing camp one or two weeks later, or cancellation are being discussed as more guidelines are set by state and district authorities.
As the Michigan High School Athletic Association and Governor Whitmer announce updated restrictions, the situation remains unsettled. Trenton Public Schools administration and I have met to discuss options and possibilities with the health and safety of students, parents, and staff as the number one priority.
In other recent developments, the entire marching band competitive season in the state of Michigan has been canceled for 2020 including the Trenton Invitational. Furthermore, assuming we continue to be in Phase 4 of restrictions which requires 100 or fewer total people in a stadium for any event, the band will not be attending football games if they are held. Only in Phase 5 would that number go to 250 maximum which would still be problematic for a band of 173 members, two football teams, coaches, officials, medical staff, band pit crews, administration, and possible attending parents of players.
I am working to find options to give THS Marching Band members some level of music instruction in a safe manner in the month of August. We still currently have drumline and color guard practices happening using required health and safety protocols and social distancing measures but that is mainly due to their instruments/equipment not being wind instruments which carry their own restrictions for social distancing and aerosol protection.
It may be possible to potentially have marching-only practices without instruments or wind instrument sectionals in small groups but I have been given the directive that only small groups such as one or two sections can be on campus at a time. All 173 will not be permitted to practice on campus even if split up into sections due to health screening issues, bond construction limitations of available space, and the fact that no students are permitted inside any district school building. Sports teams are facing the same issues but since they are much smaller, they may be able to overcome them. High risk, high contact sports such as football, however, may not be able to. The MHSAA has stated that as mid-August approaches, they will update rules and mandates for sports including football which has already seen their first allowed practice week changed to contact-less no pads. They are at the same point that marching bands are as we all wait for the next set of guidelines.
As we head into August, I will update this News blog with any new information as it happens. This blog will also continue to be shared on the THS Band 2020-2021 facebook page. Stay safe! Mr. Kurilko