Camas High School has had a not-so-perfect year but luckily for zoom and the late hybrid schedule the band students have been able to congregate and play together again and it is bringing life and music back to the high school.
With school being online for most of the school year, the band teacher Richard Mancini tried to find ways to work around the very abnormal schedule. He decided to try and work on other important things that don’t involve everyone playing together. Students studied music theory watched videos explaining hard-to-understand rhythms and even though they weren’t touching their instruments, students were still learning and becoming better as a whole.
Mancini when asked about the zoom calls this year and what some of his favorite memories were, responded by stating “My favorite part about having zoom classes for the band wasn’t the actual class, I loved seeing everyone’s assignments and how they varied in creativity and personality, it made the assignments feel unique and it gave me a glimpse of hope for the year ahead.”
CHS senior Mark Harimoto said, “My favorite thing about the band this year is that we are able to still play together given the circumstances we have been put in.”
Other bend students shared what they liked about this unique year of band.
Senior Ingrid Larsen said, “I really enjoyed playing at the football games with my friends and the rest of the band, it was a lot of fun and I am happy that I got to play at least one football game this year.”
Mr. Mancini stated his favorite part of the socially distant school year was “when I got to hear and see all of my students actually playing their instruments.” something that Mr. Mancini wishes could have happened this year but didn’t due to COVID was, “I wish we would have been able to march during the halftime shows at the football games.”
Junior band student Arnav Patnike said, “I would have liked to go to husky band day and been able to hang out with my friends and have a somewhat normal band year or be able to go out on our usual Disneyland trip during spring break.”
To look on the bright side of things every person interviewed for this article said that they were practicing a lot more than usual. Freshman Jack Booth stated, “At first I wasn’t practicing as much as I had in the past but as time went on and as I started to get bored sitting in my room all day, I found that practicing became almost therapeutic for me and it gave me a sense of accomplishment while I wasn’t doing as much to get that sense of achievement.”
Without a doubt, the band students have had it rough this year just like any other club with the uncertainty of everything happening in our world today, but slowly and surely more and more groups were able to start meeting in small sections while maintaining social distancing including the band, and more specifically the drumline. Even though everyone had their ups and downs this year, the band program is still adding more things to their busy schedules as they gear up to start the very belated basketball season this year and they hope to fill the somewhat empty souls that wander these empty corridors in hope for a normal year.
Hopefully, we will see if the band has the opportunity to hold one of their concerts this year with Mr. Mancini saying, “The one thing I would like to hope for is being able to play a concert before the year is over on the stage in front of a loving audience.”
One may dream for these things to happen and for this crummy year to be possibly turned around but sadly, only time will tell the answers to these intricate questions.