Marching Marksmen Fighting for a Season

Band Practice

Cameron Rogers
Perry County News

TELL CITY – The Tell City Jr.-Sr. High School Marching Marksmen will continue practice despite the Indiana State School Music Association canceling its season for the upcoming year.

Band Director Natasha Edmondson said the first couple weeks of practices were good, all while following the safety precautions put in place. She said, “Practices are going well. It’s nice to see all the students again, even with their masks on.” She continued, “There are some major precautions that are taking place this year, but they are all similar to what we are doing with sports teams right now. Our groups must be 20 students or less at all times. Once school starts, we will be able to have the full band together. Until then, we will be keeping our members in groups based on their roles in the show (percussion/guard/etc.).”

Along with dividing into groups, Edmondson is encouraging her kids to not gather after practice, which is something that is quite hard for the Marching Marksmen. “We are also not really allowed to encourage students to hang out after practices, which is going to be tough. Our students are very close knit, and they want to be together as much as possible. However, we are pushing them to leave as soon as possible to limit their exposure to one another,” said Edmondson.

COVID-19 caused the marching band to start their summer practices and conditioning at a later date and Edmondson expects the team to still push forward despite this. “During a normal season the guard and percussion are able to get together for rehearsal during the month of June and the whole band usually attends some type of conditioning throughout the summer. This year we weren’t able to gather so we missed out on some basic practice for the guard and percussion. Missing that time together will slow us down a little bit, but these kids are really dedicated and resilient, so I feel like we’ll pick it up quickly,” she explained.

The Marching Marksmen are hopeful that some sort of a season will still happen, however it is unknown at the time. Edmondson said, “As far as future events, it’s hard to tell at this time. Things are constantly changing so for now we are hoping that our season will continue on, but are prepared for anything to happen at a moment’s notice. We are all learning how to be flexible.”

In the upcoming week the marching band will be have their camp, which is when they would typically practice from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. However, now that it has been released that ISSMA will not be holding their competitive season, the camp will be from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. The band will continue to be in groups of 20 or less until they are notified they are allowed to be all-together.

On Wednesday ISSMA contacted the directors of every school and announced they would be canceling their live marching band evens for the upcoming season. Even though the Marching Marksmen’s biggest part of their season is canceled, they will continue to practice and will look forward to performing at football games.

Even with the uncertainty of the season and all the new rules and regulations Edmondson and her team are pushing through and are adapting to the new normal to the best of their ability. She said, “We are just jumping in head first and getting it done!”

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