FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – On Friday night North Side High School’s marching band played at the football game against South Side, which was the first time the band has performed since March.
“It just feels good tonight to feel like we’re in America playing at a football game,” said Aaron King, the band director at North Side. “I know the kids are really really excited today to have an opportunity to perform.”
Friday night’s football game was one of two that the marching band will perform at this year, as it will not travel to away games.
The band’s competition season was canceled in July, so King said he was unsure of how many opportunities it would get to play this year.
“I wasn’t sure we were going to be able to have performances by Christmas time so the fact that these kids are getting to show their talents and how much they work is great,” King said.
However, Friday nights aren’t completely back to normal for the band. Instead of performing at halftime, the performance, consisting of school songs and the national anthem, was held before the game due to “school protocol.”
“So we are going to do a ‘halftime show’ of sorts but we’re going to be doing it before the game,” said King.
The band members said they are just happy to have an opportunity to play again.
“It kind of sucks that we’re not able to do our normal set of shows for competitions but I’m really happy that we’re able to do something,” said Elijah Hardesty, a senior trombone player. “It means a lot to be able to play for the students and the football team and all the people at North Side.”
Practicing is another big difference for North Side’s band this year.
The band consists of about 120 members and in the school’s current coronavirus protocol, the band room can only hold 60 people. So, practices have been held outside.
King said luckily they’ve only had to cancel practice once because of the weather.
Other safety measures the band are taking include wearing masks whenever they aren’t playing and frequently sanitizing.
The next game North Side’s band will perform at is Oct. 16, as the Legends host Concordia.