Mid-Pacific band returns to play with new precautions

Josephine Brewer, Staff Writer

After tuning their instruments, Mid-Pacific students warm up for some time before playing their music, with the occasional gust of wind blowing their music sheet away. And when it rains too much, they go back inside.

Flying music sheets, wind and rain are becoming a new normal band students and their teacher have to deal with as the school is allowing outdoor band practice for the first time this year.

Recently band students started playing their instruments together and in person again. Other performing arts classes are also moving outside as restrictions start to ease.

“It definitely feels different being outside and the environment is different. But the actual being able to play is still just as fun,” said freshman Jackson Ibarra.

Due to COVID-19, band now has several precautions that need to be taken so that students are able to play as a group. They now play six feet apart from each other, aligned in rows near the softball field. Students are also wearing special masks with magnets and a slit in the middle for while they’re playing and have bell covers for their instruments.

Before their restrictions were lifted there were several things band students were able to do safely in the classroom.

“It definitely feels different being outside and the environment is different. But the actual being able to play is still just as fun.”

— Jackson Ibarra

“They were learning a lot of arranging and composition especially on their iPads,” said Jeremy Lawi, band teacher. They also did percussion practice by drumming on chairs.

It wasn’t all bad during the stay at home orders, Lawi said.

“It forced us to explore other aspects of music that we never really explored before,” said Lawi.

While they were at home during virtual learning they were able to play their instruments, but Lawi described it as kind of a lonely experience.

Although it can be difficult to stay positive, they have found a way to see past the negatives. “There’s a silver lining to what we had to go through. Our focus really just shifted,” said Lawi.

Junior Alex Goodrowe said it was thanks to the band teacher shifting the curriculum that they were able to learn something new and different, like music theory and writing their own music.

Band students are glad to be back playing together and feeling like a community again.

“It’s kind of like a signifier, a sign that we’re slowly returning back to normal or to what the old normal was,” said Goodrowe.