Marching Band honors seniors

Effects of COVID-19 heavily affected the band

Lasirra Hines, Entertainment Editor

The seniors of the Manhattan High Marching Band were recognized at halftime at the football game last Friday. They usually hold the annual event near the end of the football season.

This year, with COVID-19 conditions, seniors gave the directors a mask with a special message on them. 

This senior night was fun for many of the members, as they pulled out old cheers that students loved, such as “Boom Boom” and “Hot Tub.” With the football team winning, it also made for a good night. 

“I thought it went really well,” senior Isabel Pores said. “I loved getting to be there and hearing everyone play.”

Pores is a drum major this year, so she conducts the band. She also plays alto saxophone.

The section leaders gave the seniors gifts when they stood in the middle of the field. 

“For my section, our section leader gave the seniors a gift, which was so thoughtful,” senior Rita Marshall, clarinet player, said, ”and I was really just able to have a great time with my friends.” 

Band has been heavily affected by COVID-19, such as having a limit on how many members are gathered together at games, or how freshmen don’t get to come to West Campus for the class. Band camp being cancelled was new for the year, and rehearsals have been up in the air for the students, affecting the drum majors.

“It’s been very different from previous years and not having band camp and our normal amount of rehearsals have left us (drum majors) a little bit in the dark,” senior Sean Anderson, a drum major.

They have been marching in the parking lot rather than the field due to not having access to a field for practice. The band also has to sit socially distanced on the track instead of in the stands during performances at games.

There have been many changes, including the students receiving masks that allow them to play but still cover their face, and a limited section of members that can show up to the game. There is also separation of the band into four groups, freshmen A and B groups, and then upperclassmen groups A and B, which has affected the ability to practice.

“Bands felt really separated this year because there’s a bunch of different groups, four in total. Two at West campus and two at East. You never see the other groups,” senior Gavin Erickson, section leader, said.

Members feel that the COVID-19 impacts have hit them near the most, and it has been difficult for the band as a whole.

“It’s really hard when literally everything is against you, there’s been actual studies done that says, the worst is choir but the second worst is probably band,” junior Anika Nyp said. “The games don’t feel the same without the band there.”