Band resumes in-person performances


Gabriela Hampsey

Members of the Lincoln band relax in between songs at homecoming game. The band programs at Lincoln have resumed in person performances this school year, including playing at football games such as this one.

This article was written by a student in Intro to Mass Communications, the class that precedes The Cardinal Times. 

The band programs at Lincoln, including the wind ensemble, jazz combos, concert band and Freshman Leadership Inquiry band (FLI-band), are performing in person again this school year, but still keeping in mind safety precautions for the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The concert band has already played for four football games, including the homecoming game, and they stood in or near the stands while they played. The concert band and jazz combos performed at PopCycles, which is an annual talent show done by Lincoln’s performing arts programs, and all of Lincoln’s band programs performed at Music-a-thon. They took COVID-19 safety precautions such as  wearing masks and social distancing.

“Right now, when we have a concert, we’re supposed to have half capacity in the auditorium, which doesn’t really affect us because we have 600 seats in the auditorium, including the balcony, so we can spread people out,” said David Kays, band director at Lincoln. “I don’t think we’ve ever had 300 people show up for a concert anyways, so we should be fine,” said Kays.

According to Kays, some of the concert band’s upcoming performances this year include playing at varsity basketball games on Fridays, the winter and spring concerts and a farewell concert to recognize the seniors. The jazz combos will also play at the district jazz festival, and will soon begin playing in the school hallways in the mornings. The wind ensemble might go on a tour in the spring, and might perform at the Starlight parade or the Rose parade with the FLI-band, but neither of those performances are for certain as of right now.

When asked earlier in the year about which performance she was most excited for this year, Nitsa Kehoe, senior and the band’s drum major, said, “Probably music-a-thon.”

According to a study published by ACS Environmental AU, playing a wind instrument uses more air and is therefore more likely to transmit COVID-19 than speaking, but taking preventative measures such as using bell covers or masks, which many members of the Lincoln band use when playing inside, makes transmission less likely. As of yet, there have been no reported COVID-19 outbreaks due to a band performance. The Lincoln band is also taking other measures for the safety of the audience.

“Of course people will be masked [at concerts], you know,” said Kays. “And ideally … I would ask family units to stay together but spread apart from other people, that sort of thing. And then of course there’s going to be HEPA filters in … the auditorium, and maybe even a fan or two, just making sure that the circulation is happening.”

The band members, and Kays, are all very excited to be back in person for performances. The community of musicians, and playing instruments together as a group, is important to the band members.

When asked what her favorite part of the band program at Lincoln is, Kehoe responded, “The community. I think everyone gets along really well, and everyone’s friends with everyone.”