Band classes adapt to COVID-19 regulations


Band students sit in front of peers the overflow, and rehearse during A-block.

Students are changing their tune on band class since it started playing in the overflow. What began as a futile battle against construction and the elements is now an opportunity for band students to showcase their talents to a whole new audience in the comforts of the overflow.

The band class has quite the presence with dozens of chairs, each student holding their own particular instrument and music teacher Carolyn Castellano standing in front of them all, poised and ready to lead them in song.

The wind, which caused the music sheets to blow away, combined with the rumbling of vehicles, proved to be quite the opponent for the band last year, as they practiced outside.

“We had clothespins but the music would blow even with that. Then you had the trucks doing the construction on the field,” Castellano said.

Unfortunately, playing indoors wasn’t an option last year due to COVID-19 distancing requirements.

“Last year, the requirement was to be nine feet apart from one another so you couldn’t really fit a lot of people inside. So even if it was only ten kids we would have to play outside,” Castellano said.

However, practicing in the overflow has its benefits beyond just four walls and a roof. Some students who work in the overflow in the early mornings, like junior Jacquovia Higgs, enjoy the music.

“It’s really exciting. I have a couple friends who are in band, and I don’t think I’ve ever really gotten to see them play before other than in middle school. It’s really interesting to get to watch them in a public setting,” Higgs said.

Junior and trombone player Anya Ditkoff said although they prefer the band room, it is still an improvement.

“It’s better than playing on Cypress field last year; there is no wind in here, but it’s probably worse than the band room,” Ditkoff said.

Despite being a refuge from the outside world, practicing in the overflow certainly has its faults according to Catellano.

“I wish I didn’t have to be in there because there’s so many other things I can do in [the band room]. I have to make the class even shorter because we have to bring stuff out there then we’ve got to bring it back in,” Castellano said.

But Castellano is not without hope. She said that playing in the overflow is no doubt an improvement compared to last year and has proved to be better than she thought. This unexpected change has given the opportunity to involve more of the BHS community in band class.

“Even if people aren’t in band we could just say, ‘Hey, bring your instrument next Wednesday if you want to sit in. We can have other people sit in and reconnect if they played in elementary school,” Castellano said.

Since practicing in the overflow, the band doesn’t just play music, it also contributes to the culture of the highschool.

“Only at BHS will you walk into the school and find the band playing dramatic music in the morning. I think it’s so fitting for us,” Higgs said.