Marching Band Update
July 13, 2020
After considering the current and projected situation of community health, meeting with the EMS ISD high school band directors, and with the safety of our students as our greatest concern, we have made the difficult decision that EMS ISD will not participate in a competitive marching band season this fall. This decision has been made in coordination with the Keller, Northwest, Birdville, McKinney, and other regional school districts, all due to concerns of the spread of COVID-19.
This decision currently applies to marching band competitions only; information regarding athletics and other extracurricular activities will be provided once further guidance from UIL is received.
As you are aware, undertaking a competitive marching season involves significant amounts of time, planning, energy, and funding – from the district, booster clubs, and individual parent contributions. We take the investment of these funds very seriously, and we believe it is in the best interest of our schools, families, and students to use these resources to support a marching experience that we can be sure will safely allow all students to participate.
While we are devastated that our incredible bands will not compete this year, we have been working hard to develop a plan to give our students the best marching experience considering the current health crisis. Each high school will still produce a marching show, though it will be significantly shorter in length and include a number of safety measures intended to ensure student safety. We are eagerly awaiting information from the Texas Education Agency and University Interscholastic League with guidelines regarding marching bands presence at football games, but students can be assured of some kind of marching band performance opportunity.
Summer band will begin, as usual, with enhanced measures in place for student safety. Students will rehearse in smaller groups and keep appropriate distancing at all times, even while marching.
EMS ISD Fine Arts will continue to monitor the situation, listen to the guidance of local health officials, and adjust our plan throughout the fall. We will keep devoting our time and energy to our student-musicians, providing them with outlets for expression and opportunities for camaraderie with friends and the band community, all while committed to our highest responsibility – assuring our students’ health, safety, and well-being.
Individual directors will have more details to share in the coming weeks, but we look forward to seeing our amazing students for Summer Band in the near future.
Does this mean I need to change my child's schedule because there will not be marching band this year? No. At this time there will still be marching band performance opportunities, but we will not be attending competitions. We remain committed to a marching experience for all our band students this year, and we want and need all current band students to keep band on their schedules.
What about band fees this year? Each program has decreased band fees for the 2020-2021 year to reflect current circumstances. Furthermore, our directors will be assessing and communicating their plans for student fees this year as we move forward.
If our bands are not preparing for a competition marching season, what about athletics? This decision currently impacts marching band competitions. Information regarding athletics and other extra- or co-curricular activities will be shared as soon as we receive further guidance from UIL.
Why is the marching band competitive season being cancelled? Many factors have gone into this decision, including the number of students involved in a marching band program, the expenses of a traditional marching show, and the logistics of travel all while keeping the safety and security of our students and staff as our top priority.