HC Band Update 7-2-20

Dear HC Band Family,

Welcome to the start of a very different year! I hope all are well and having a safe summer. I wanted to pass along the latest update on band activities for our program.  By now, I’m sure you have seen the recent news release from FCPS on school start dates. Please take time to complete the survey for FCPS fall semester school options. This information will be essential in planning a productive musical and academic experience this fall.

Mr. Bayerle and I have been in planning and discussion of all of the options as we begin this new challenge in a global health crisis. Our philosophy is basically that there are ways to safely engage kids in a productive learning process/activity and train them for valuable life skills and betterment of their musical and visual performance. We fully realize with the current restrictions and safety concern, we are not likely to be able to travel out of state this season and honestly, may not ever get the whole band together due to the risk that size group presents, but we would like to offer as much as possible to our band kids to keep them in a productive learning environment. Our goal is safe and productive teamwork in a strong process leading to a more advanced performance experience. We will do as much as we safely can and still have opportunities to learn valuable skills and put together some type of performance experience.

I have been serving on a committee for extracurricular activity start up with FCPS and we have found a safe and productive way to engage kids in the marching band activity. Many of the same structures as the athletic start up requirements will be in place with obviously some more detail for application to marching band. While we certainly would LOVE everyone to participate, we also understand that this is not the best situation for everyone. It would be imperative that our band family closely follow ALL of the new rules and regulations for our first priority, everyone’s safety.

I know many of the students are excited to work and perform together! If there is a group that can do this, it’s the HC Marching Band!

Please take a few minutes to review the attached HC Band Start Up Plan. We are certainly in uncharted territory so feel free, as always, to send questions and I’ll do my best.

HC Band Start Up Plan

Every family should take time to review this information before deciding whether marching band is in your best interest this summer/fall. As I said before, we will take all necessary precautions and would love to have everyone and all are welcome, but we understand if this isn’t the best situation for your family. Please communicate with me your intentions if you are making a change to either join marching band or to decline participation this year.

In addition to the attached document process, here is the plan:

HC Marching Band Camp

Sunday, July 19- Zoom meeting @ 7 PM for ALL HC marching band members (guard, drumline, pit percussion, woodwinds, brass)

Week 1-  Mon. July 20-Fri. July 24:

Student Parking lot (outside gym):
8 AM-12 PM Woodwinds
1-5 PM Brass
5-8 PM Color Guard

Small group of pit percussion in the band room from 8 AM-12 PM and 1-5 PM. Drumline 8 AM-12 PM and 1-5 PM out front and spread out. For percussion, I’ll have specific details on lunch requirements. REMINDER: There can be NO carpooling of any kind at any time.

Other than the pit spread out in the band room, no one else will rehearse in the building. Other than restroom use, other band students should not be in the building. Students should arrive in the proper attire so they don’t have to change and students will be bringing and leaving with most equipment each day. The big instruments will be stored in a safe way spread apart and Mr. Bayerle and I will streamline how we get and return those instruments each day.

We would have all band drop off and pickup in the same flow around the building as one of the athletic traffic flow spots down by the student parking lot. Mr. Bayerle and I are the only band staff permitted to do the temperature checks for now so we will check kids in by the band practice field. Please do a temperature check every day before coming to rehearsal and don’t surprise us and yourself as you are moved to a quarantine spot to wait for a ride home 🙂

We will only meet in groups under 50 at first and use the parking lot, a patch of grass for the drumline to spread out (probably out front), and the pit (13-15 members spread out in the band room with 1 instructor (who has obviously been trained). I will train a limited small group of staff on Friday, July 17.

We are planning on running week 1 in this manner and then releasing week 2 and 3 schedules closer to camp time. For all, please make note of the COVID positive test requirements at the end of the attached HC Band Start Up document. Our continued rehearsal will all depend upon whether we can keep our group safe, healthy, and out of quarantine.

Some have asked about band fees, we will have information out around the start of school about band fees. If we are not offering as much activity due to regulations and safety, we obviously don’t want to collect and have to refund money later, so I’ll touch base with an update next month on fees.

For now, anyone interested in marching band needs the following before Mon. July 20th:

  1. Facemasks or Face Coverings (4-5 to rotate through for washing). If going with the mask, get some string to be able to hang it around the neck
  2. Water jug (labeled with your name)
  3. Proper athletic clothing for camp
  4. Updated PHYSICAL from your doctor. We can’t allow students into camp without the physical form
  5. Home thermometer for temp check before you leave your house
  6. Personal hand sanitizer to bring to rehearsal
  7. Get some exercise and in a good routine of hydrating

If you have any questions, I’ll do my best to help. I’ll be in touch with any updates especially about band during school as those decisions are made by the district. Fill out those FCPS Surveys! Thanks for your support and we look forward to a productive, safe, and healthy experience this year!

Sincerely,

Bill Kite
Director of Bands
Henry Clay High School