Saints march on

Madelynn Dake, A&E Writer

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything at Xavier High School and the school’s band department is no exception. Faculty and staff members have been doing everything they can to make Xavier Highschool a safe place as COVID-19 continues. This means that the band has undergone some major reforms. This includes marching at six foot intervals, wind players having bell covers and equipment not being shared. The use of masks is also a big change for the band.

 “We wear our masks at all times except when we are playing,” drum major Avery Arens said. “We are also getting special masks that make it easier to play through.” 

This will help with social distancing while performing. Band director Kelli Swehla has also written a socially-distanced show. Band members stand six feet apart, but still march alongside each other.

“While health is always paramount, it is now the driving force behind every decision we make,” Swehla said. “Because of these accommodations, we are able to have rehearsal and we are grateful for that.” 

Unfortunately, the difficult decision to cancel major band competitions was made earlier this year. The Iowa High School Music Association State Marching Band Festival will be taking place virtually.

 “We can’t go to competitions this year, which really bummed the band out,” Arens said. “However, we are still very excited to play and perform at football games this year for our friends and family.” 

COVID-19 has brought a lot of challenges to the band this year, but they will not be stopped. While the season is certainly different, the Xavier Saints continue to march on.