Elba High School Marching Tiger Band proves the show will go on—even amid COVID-19

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ELBA, Ala. (WDHN) — Music, dance, flags, social distancing? All of these things will be part of this year’s Elba High School Marching Tiger Band.

“Right now we’re going to be planning to keep them separated as much as possible with proper social distancing,” Elba High School Band Director Shaun Hammonds said. “Follow all the guidelines from the CDC.”

Band camp started on July 22 but band sections have been split up—meaning the 75-member band has not had a full meeting.

“The pit is in the hallway but they come six to eight [p.m.],” said EHS senior Breanna Sanders. “Then the wind players we can’t really split them up because you have to hear what the music sounds like.”

Another big change: masks.

“I’m recommending that kids wear a mask other than for playing situations,” Hammonds told WDHN.

The band plans to have its first, socially-distanced, full meeting on August 3rd. But even then, the band could still see holes on the field as some parents and students are nervous about returning.

“We’ve got between 10 and 15 [students not returning],” Hammonds said. “They’ve dealt with something firsthand with the COVID situation and they’re just trying to be safe and we totally understand.”

Regardless, one senior is ready to see the full band—COVID-19 precautions and all.

“I’ve especially been wanting to get the whole band together so we can already go ahead and get the show on the field so we wouldn’t have to worry down the line,” said EHS senior Kyle Mitchell. “But I feel like everybody will get used to it and be happy to be with their band mates again.”

In addition to social distancing and masks, Hammonds said students stay on their own instruments and are encouraged to sterilize their mouthpieces and equipment as much as possible.

To stay up-to-date on the Tiger Band, visit its Facebook page.

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