Happy Monday! To our students, I hope you all are having a restful summer break and everyone is staying healthy. To our parents, I wish much of the same, especially as we gear up for what will be a unique and interesting school year. In light of Friday’s school board meeting, I regret to inform you that the incredibly difficult decision has been made to postpone our Rookie, Guard, & Percussion Camp (Jul. 9-10) and Full Band Camp (Jul. 13-16) indefinitely. I am intentionally using the term “postpone” as we are still planning on proceeding with competitive marching band activities (once permitted by the district/school) until otherwise advised. Additionally, with the current rehearsal schedule, we have multiple Saturday rehearsals throughout the season which collectively will make up for this lost band camp rehearsal time. This revised rehearsal/performance schedule is attached below.
As you may know, Arizona has recently experienced an alarming spike in confirmed positive coronavirus cases. This fact, coupled with our district board’s decision to push back the school start date to August 10th solidified the need to at least postpone our camps. Moreover, our district has yet to launch its “phase-in” plan for athletic/extracurricular activities, meaning we are unable to hold any sanctioned band events until this Wed., July 1. Following the 1st, they are permitting activities of 10 or less members (including coaches/supervisors). As I see it, the probability that these guidelines change (again) to expand this capacity restriction before our July 9 & July 13 starting dates is highly unlikely, making the circumstances in which we could plan for and hold a safe/effective band camp for a group of our size nearly impossible.
A couple scenarios to make you aware of:
- Competitive marching band in Arizona continues as scheduled: In this case, we will continue on schedule once school starts (Aug. 10). Should this happen, it is assumed that we’ll at least be in Phase 2 of the return to activity guidelines, meaning that we will still need to make adjustments to rehearsal procedures in order to safely continue (adhering to the 50 student capacity). However, I’m confident in the amount of planned rehearsal time throughout the season being sufficient enough to make up for the lost week of band camp.
- The two state marching band circuits (AZMBA/ABODA) move to cancel the 2020 competitive marching band season: In this case, we will seek opportunities to still be a part of football games and other community performances (similar to what many college bands are doing). Should this be the case, we will move forward with a reduced practice schedule and focus on stands tunes with the possibility of putting the music to minimal visual activity that allows for proper social distancing, etc. The competitive show theme and music will be shelved until next year.
These circumstances are never how I’d imagine beginning my time with this wonderful program, however I’m optimistic that with whatever happens, we will adapt and make the best of it. Music education has been and will continue to be a critical component to a well-rounded student experience and high school education. For this reason, each of our instrumental music ensembles will make every effort to continue engaging with music in creative and intellectually-stimulating ways. As more information is known, we will continue to plan accordingly so many thanks in advance for your patience. Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, comments, or concerns.