From heartbreak to happiness: Band performs at football games

Marching Band plays the Fight song after a Linganore touchdown.

photo courtesy of Julie Condrasky

Marching Band plays the Fight song after a Linganore touchdown.

Just like everybody else, the marching and has had a weird season. Going from practicing for games, then getting notified that the marching and has been cut, to being able to play at games has been pure chaos. 

Towards the end of the summer, the band held a two week virtual band camp, something that was new to everybody.

“That was definitely a different kind of band camp than I’m used to, but the band adapted really well, and we managed to be productive,” said senior Ben Scoppa, a member of the drumline. 

During the first semester, different sections of the band were going in to practice for an hour one day per week. The band was even able to piece together a few Christmas songs to share virtually. On January 4, FCPS announced that return to play was being suspended, and the future of the season was up in the air. 

In early March, the band was told that they would be able to put together a pep band to play at the football games. Shortly after, FCPS announced that the band and poms wouldn’t be able to play due to a spectator limit, and the band was devastated.

“When I found out the band was not going to be performing I had mixed feelings. I completely understood the need to limit people within the stadium, but it frustrated me,” said senior Mackenzie Berry, drum major.

“I fully supported the FCPS decision to prioritize athletes and cheerleaders when issuing spectator tickets for football games, especially since we were only planning a pep band and would not be performing at halftime,” said band director Kevin Lloyd.

Heartbreak did not last long, though, because following Governor Hogan’s latest policies, the County voted to raise the spectator limit and allow the band and poms to perform again.

One of the prominent questions that remains is how the band will remain safe and follow COVID protocols.

“Students are going to be six feet apart, using bell covers on their instruments, wearing masks anytime they were not playing their instruments, and seated in the band bleachers, far away from any spectators,” said Mr. Lloyd.

“I’m super stoked to be able to play again, and play in one more football game with some of the seniors,” said junior Ian Farmer. “I hope things can return to normal so that we can have a fun season next year.”

This year has definitely been a roller coaster for the band, but with the ability to play in football games, and upcoming concert band practices, there is light at the end of this tunnel