Joplin High School Band pushes forward with band camp, with precautions in place due to COVID-19

But their season is looking different as well, with many band competitions already cancelled.
Joplin Hs Band

JOPLIN, Mo. – The sound of music rang out outside the Joplin High School proving COVID-19 wasn’t going to stop the high school band from playing.

“With our safety health protocols in place we’ve been able to keep rehearsals moving efficiently and also keeping progress for our band program, and the students have been understanding and they understand that this is the new norm and this is what we have to do to be successful” said Director of Bands, Brian Kelley.

Band camp began this week, but with precautions in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and continue the band season.

“When students are checking in in the morning we have our wellness checks, we take their temperature, we also make sure their hands are disinfected and make sure they’re wearing a mask when entering the building” added Kelley.

“They have to take so many more precautions as we socially distance kids and how we go about doing that just because it’s so much more dangerous being in close proximity with singing and playing instruments” added Joplin High School Principal, Stephen Gilbreth.

But their season is looking different as well, with many band competitions already cancelled.

“They have about four a year and when they do that they will have about 120 plus bands at these competitions” added Gilbreth.
The band is working on having a noncompetitive season this year, looking into more area performances in a safe setting and at the Friday night lights.

For senior Abbi Surbrugg, the new normal for the band has been an adjustment, but something she says has actually given them an advantage.

“This year not being able to have competitions and everything, we’re getting to focus on fundamentals.”

And that the students are just happy to be practicing once again.

“I think we’re doing a really great job and adjusting to the changes and making the best out of it for sure” said Surbrugg.

“Having them in class now, all the kids have this closure that we can make music again. It might look a little different, we may be wearing something different, we may be taking our temperature, but we’re still making music at the end of the day and that’s the beauty of our band camp right now” added Kelley.

Joplin High School officials are also considering coverings for the holes of the instruments when played to prevent the spread of droplets.