High school band camps underway, performances still up in the air

Across North Alabama, bands are preparing to perform in fall sports, but are aware things could change quickly.

Posted: Jul 29, 2020 7:53 PM

Right now, band camp is underway at several high schools across our area.

The Alabama High School Athletics Association suggests allowing bands and cheerleaders to participate in fall sporting events. 

However, it is up to each district. Just last week, practice began for the Brewer High marching band in anticipation it will join the football team for its first game on Aug. 21. 

"I would love to have them at football games, what that's going to be exactly, I'm not sure at this point?," Band Director Courtney Lankford said. 

This is Lankford's first year as director of the Marching Patriots. She knows just how important this program is for these students. More than a decade ago, she was a Patriot herself.

While this is not what she expected her first year, she said she is staying optimistic. 

"Just had to zig and zag with our plans and just make adjustments as we go," Lankford said.

There is a set entrance and exit for the band room, and several steps are taken before a student can participate in practice.

"I have to screen everybody that comes into the band room, have to check their temperature, check their symptoms," Lankford said.

In Lauderdale County, at Brooks High School, Band Director Russell Kershaw is staying busy during his second week of band camp.

"It seems like they have a little more enthusiasm honestly," Kershaw said. "It's amazing to see how much we've accomplished in the time we've been working, we've been working about a week and a half."

He too is taking as many precautions as he can to keep his students safe.

"We try to spend more time outside, spaced out, six feet, we did markings on the outside edge of our field so we could tell our students very easily okay go to the marks so we can stay spaced out," Kershaw said. 

Back in Morgan County, Lankford says even during a pandemic, it is important to have something to work toward. 

"Being involved in may activities still makes for a well-rounded kid and we still need that even though we have the covid 19 situations," Lankford said.

Lankford said when the band does perform they will not be wearing the uniforms and the marching will be limited in order to space out.

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