Lincoln marching band students back at school for the first time since March

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 5:25 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - After months of uncertainty some Lincoln students got a little piece of normalcy this week, they’re back on the marching band field listening to the beat of the metronome with instruments in hand.

“It’s really nice to be back and see everyone again,” said Rachel Odabasi, a Lincoln Southeast Senior.

For students and staff alike.

“It’s fun to see them again,” said R. J. Metteer, director of bands at Lincoln Southeast. “I’m judging smiles by eyes not faces but you can tell it’s a passion for a lot of the kids.”

That’s not to say it’s not different. The students are wearing masks when not playing, rehearse outside in small groups and only half of the band is on school property at a time.

“Marching band is probably the perfect activity because when you think of band on the field we can put space in between them,” said Lance Nielsen, Supervisor of Music for LPS.

Their entire season will look different too. There won’t be any competitions.

“Nationwide the marching band thing has been shut down due to safety, whether it’s traveling with kids getting on buses, whether it’s parents in crowded stadiums or parking lots,” Metteer said.

So far, they also don't yet know what football halftime shows will look like.

"I asked if we should get the national anthem ready and they said get it ready so we're getting it ready," Metteer said.

But regardless, they'll be practicing, learning and spending time with their peers.

"Students being together and being able to play or sing and do music is such an important part of social emotional learning, we've all been wanting to do this again," Nielsen said.

The students said there's some disappointment in not being able to compete, but it's not stopping them from enjoying their time, because at one point they were worried they wouldn't be able to march at all.

“It’s fulfilling no matter what it looks like,” Odabasi said.

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