The Marching Band Adjusts to a Difficult Situation

2020+Southern+Lehigh+Marching+Band+and+Color+Gaurd

2020 Southern Lehigh Marching Band and Color Gaurd

Alexa Smith

The Southern Lehigh High School marching band may not have been marching as they usually do, but this fall they still managed to keep playing upbeat and encouraging music despite the pandemic.  While their performances this season were limited, then devoted and spirited members of the band made the best of the given circumstances. 

Most of the band’s performances were canceled this year. Traditionally, they play at the Coopersburg Community Day, the Coopersburg Halloween Parade, the Bangor Band Festival, and of course all football games. However, this year the marching band performed at only three home football games and a special senior night performance for students’ families.

Band director Mr. Larry Fisher wanted to be as careful as possible during their performances, so he and the marching band staff decided that they would not be doing a traditional field show. The band and the color guard did a standstill performance for the small amount of spectators allowed at the football games.  

Color guard director Mrs. Marlo Spritzer said that overall the biggest challenge she faced this year was getting used to the social distancing. 

“Teaching color guard, it is easier to walk up to someone and fix their equipment, or help them fix their hand placements,” Mrs. Spritzer said. “It required me to have to verbally give those corrections from a distance.” 

There were a lot of precautions put in place for the safety of the band members, such as putting cloth bell covers on some of the instruments, the same way you would wear a face covering. Other precautions included required face masks and no indoor practices. Band members who could not attend practice or were not comfortable attending practice in person could participate via zoom. 

Sophomore Jaelyn Martinez has been performing with the Southern Lehigh color guard since middle school. She was a little disappointed with this year’s season being cut short and performing without the usual crowds, including the incredibly spirited student section.   

“A lot of energy we get, we feed off of the student section for that,” Martinez said. “We feed off of their energy, their spirit, their wildness and cheering and how they chant and they just have fun at the games.”

Junior Andrea Keiper, assistant drum major, thinks that this season definitely could have been worse. 

“Out of everything we have lost this year, the student section is not one to be upset over,” Keiper said. “Football players got to play, cheerleaders got to cheer, band got to play.”

Overall, Keiper felt that they did the best they could with the current circumstances. The band had different challenges musically with fewer rehearsals this year. Despite all of the new challenges, the members did a good job with the restrictions put in place.  Keiper credits the entire band for putting together such a safe environment. 

“I have been in a lot of situations since covid started where I felt super uncomfortable, and band has just not been one of them,” Keiper said. “I feel comfortable and safe every time I am with the band.”

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2020 Color Gaurd