ULM’s Sound of Today Marching Band returns this fall

Published: Aug. 20, 2020 at 8:41 AM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - ULM’s Sound of Today Marching Band has resumed rehearsals and is ready to bring school spirit back to campus this fall. They have implemented some changes to keep students safe during the pandemic.

All full band rehearsals will now be held outdoors. Band players are given double-layered masks to wear when they’re not playing, and their chairs are socially distanced.

ULM’s athletic band is the largest spirit organization on campus. Interim band director Sean O’Pry said he’s happy COVID-19 won’t stop them from keeping school spirit alive on campus.

They are limiting contact by only distributing sheet music digitally, and no one is sharing lockers or instruments. O’Pry said he looks forward to the band reconnecting through music and doing it safely.

“We put those in place to remain as safe as possible and as long as we can have band, and it be safe for everyone, we’re gonna continue to do it. Because I mean these students were starved for a connection, starved for music, and we’re just happy to be back doing it,” he said.

O’Pry said as classes begin to transition online, he predicts band practices and ensembles will follow a similar trend. Currently, they are abiding by both the governor’s order and the UL system.

Most auditions for the fall semester were held pre-quarantine last spring. Others were done via Zoom. There was no capacity limit for the band because they were already in accordance with the governor’s orders and had less than 50 people.

O’Pry said all instruments have been cleaned with alcohol solutions that go above and beyond CDC recommendations.

He said resuming band for the fall will give students the opportunity to feel a sense of normalcy again.

“Even behind a mask, you can see the smile in their eyes. Everybody’s just happy to be back. We’re being as safe as possible. With our social distancing measures, with wearing the masks. But we’re just happy to be making music again,” said O’Pry.

They are currently discussing safe recruitment options for the spring.

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