Band and Covid 19: The effect of the pandemic on the halftime show, competitions

When the Mid-State Band Association cancelled competitions for schools for the fall, and the Ohio High School Athletic Association changed the halftime duration from 12 minutes to 6 minutes at football games, the McNicholas band decided during the summer of 2020 to remove marching and visual effects from their show and have the band simply stand and play.  

The marching part of the show utilizes a large section of the field and allows for extra visual effects other shows would not have.  

Spectator and band parent Jody Van Huss said, “I feel everyone would have preferred to have a complete show. However, unfortunately that wasn’t able to happen, so I am still glad that the show was able to go on.”  

The decision to remove marching from the show was made due to the fact that with no competitions, a lack of halftime show time, and a shortage of time to properly set up the show, run it, and move off the field, having the show continue as it would’ve in the past was unnecessary. 

Band director Keith Nance said, “I felt like I wanted to play as much music as we could in the time given and usually a marching band competition takes months to prepare. I felt like removing marching to get as much as I could get out of it was the right decision.” 

The decision to remove marching from the show has received positive and negative feedback, from both a performer’s and spectator’s stand point. 

Marcher and band senior William Garvin said, “I prefer doing the marching show and competitions. They feel better to do, and when you put in more work, it feels better to see what you accomplished, and have achieved.” 

Others, however, like the relaxed feeling of just playing the show. Junior Anthony Caccavari said, “I definitely felt less pressure. It felt a lot easier just standing and playing.” 

Sophomore Karleen Leibreich said, “Marching and playing, although it was stressful at times, helped me to bond with the band much more because of the things we did to prepare for the show.” 

 Sophomore Naomi Pruett, freshman Maria Halaby, senior William Garvin, and sophomore Karleen Leibreich play the halftime show at the Aug. 24 football game against Northwest.  The band has performed their shorter show on the track this year

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