Other than the outdoor setting, the band rehearsal at Bradford Area High School Tuesday displayed all of the trappings of music students doing what they enjoy best — entertaining others.
Marissa Pattison Golden, music and band director at the high school, said the students with the band have been rehearsing for an outdoor hour-long concert. The concert will be performed at 7 p.m. May 6 at the Parkway Field stadium behind the school.
“This will feature the whole instrumental music department,” Golden said. “It will be our concert band, our wind ensemble and our jazz band combined.”
The 60-student group will perform seven tunes for community members who will sit in the bleachers and will be asked to follow COVID guidelines by wearing masks and social distancing.
The concert will be an Earth theme program, with music to include songs such as “Beyond the Horizon,” which is a four-song “Garden Suite; two additional Earth songs and a song titled “Riptides.”
Golden said a second hour-long concert, featuring the high school and Floyd C. Fretz Middle School jazz bands, will be held at 7 p.m. May 13 at Parkway Field, as well. That concert will also be free to the public, who will be asked to follow the same pandemic guidelines. Both events will begin admitting audience members at 6:30 p.m.
The second concert songs will include popular tunes such as an amped-up version of the theme from Sesame Street; the Pink Panther theme; “Dance to the Music” a song by Sly and the Family Stone; among others.
Golden shared some of the bands’ challenges with rehearsals and performances over the past year of the pandemic.
“It certainly has been a challenge to find meaningful musical experiences this year,” Golden admitted. “We’ve been so limited in our performance opportunities. Marching Band wasn’t able to travel like it usually does, but we were still able to do home shows and football games, which was really nice.”
She said the Christmas show, unfortunately, wasn’t performed for the community due to the school district’s shutdown with online instruction, at that time.
“We put out a recording of (the Christmas concert) to the community” online, she added, “So this will be our first live concert this year — (the students) are so excited because they live for performing. It’s what we worked for all year.
“They’re very excited to show off everything they’ve done this year,” she continued.
Golden noted the band students had to rehearse inside using specially designed masks, and cover the ends of their instruments with “bell covers.” The covers, however, won’t be used on the instruments in the outdoor concerts.
“We called them ‘play it safe’ kits, the school district helped us invest in those,” Golden said of the masks and covers. “Everybody had the equipment they needed to stay well while still doing band.”
A third concert provided by choral students will be performed on May 27, with more details to be provided in the near future.