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Midway Band adjusts to UIL guidelines and no in-person practices

Posted at 6:39 PM, Jul 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-27 19:39:50-04

MIDWAY, TX — One week ago, the University Interscholastic League (UIL) announced its plans for sports to return in the fall. The Midway High School Band was excited they received the okay to be able to play at football games even with some added restrictions.

But that excitement quickly changed. Midway Band had only been practicing for two days when the McLennan County Public Health District issued the order shutting down all practices until after September 7.

“It was pretty devastating when this last Tuesday they said we weren't going to be able to practice in person. Obviously, I would be amiss to say I’m not disappointed, but I’m trying to deal with it and move on,” said Carson Lutz, a Midway Band drum major.

“I’m kinda disappointed in a lot of things. I was really looking forward to do summer band it being my senior year and I’m a drum major. That’s something I really wanted to do for a long time. Now, I don’t get the chance to do that anymore,” said Grayson Odajima.

Now, it's back to waiting, but the band still has hope and holds onto their favorite memories while they wait for practice to begin again.

“I like "Neck," because it gets the whole band going and the crowd sees how cheerful we are, and they add on to the energy. It’s good to get everyone together and have fun,” said Ashli Ballard, a drum major.

”Whenever we’ve got tough plays or tough games, it's always fun to play things like "Neck" that really get the crowd going. We are kind of, in a sense, responsible for that crowd reaction which, in a sense, can really push a football team to that last little bit of adrenaline they need to really push it over the edge,” said Jeffrey Clendennen, also a drum major.

The UIL has specific guidelines for the band this year, which will require the band to be spaced six feet apart, but when they are marching and playing they have to be spaced 10 feet apart.

This will require the band to re-adjust how they play at football games and venues due to the speed of sound.

“On a regular football season where we are just a normal distance apart from each other, we have three drum majors up in the front. So the middle drum major is in time with the stand drummers and then the people on the outside have to conduct a little bit different and a little ahead of the tempo because of the space,” said Pam Hyatt, Director of Bands for Midway ISD.

In the end, there is still a lot of unknown, but what is certain is that everyone can’t wait to get back and play together once again.