Valley directors concerned over how to safely go about upcoming marching band season


Some directors admit they may not be able to take their bands to away games this season

BOARDMAN, Ohio (WYTV) – The drums are beating and the trumpets are blaring at some high schools. Pretty soon, band camps will bring all the musicians together to get ready for a new season. But, there could be a lot of changes coming.

As Boardman High School’s drumline tries out some brand new equipment, there are still plenty of questions about band camp, which starts later this month, as well as the upcoming marching season.

“There are so many bridges that we have not crossed yet and it’s kind of overwhelming to think about,” said band director Tom Ruggieri.

As Ruggieri begins his 20th season with the Spartans, he’s already had to cancel the planned band camp trip to Slippery Rock. Plus, band night, scheduled for Aug. 20, may have to be scrapped as well. It’s all because of the continuing coronavirus pandemic.

“Because we just can’t see how we’re gonna maintain guidelines with that. I’m gonna postpone that,” he said.

Ruggieri and his students are not alone — some directors admit they may not be able to take their bands to away games this season.

“We’re following the sports protocol. We are doing all the guidelines, temperature checks as soon as they come in,” said Springfield band director Dave DePanicis.

But DePanicis says keeping his 70 or 80 students who haven’t been together in months socially distanced won’t be easy.

“You need to have a full group, at least at some point, to be able to rehearse and have some cohesiveness,” DePanicis said.

In the meantime, seniors are looking to make their final year a safe one.

“I will be wearing my mask constantly, everyone will be. So I know we’ll be staying safe, keeping our distance, using hand sanitizer, washing our hands,” said Boardman senior Erin Jackson.

All while doing what they can to make the best of a changing situation.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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