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Marching Virginians find ways to safely perform during COVID

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Category: campus experience Video duration: Marching Virginians find ways to safely perform during COVID
The Marching Virginians put a number of safety measures in place in order to perform during the fall semester.
[Music] Polly Middleton wanted to find a way to bring the Marching Virginians together. "I knew that I wanted to do whatever we could to have some kind of marching band experience, even if that meant that there was no football. And we would find another way to be together." Research into COVID and how it spreads helped to identify ways the band could play on, safely. "This research allowed us to kind of get an idea of what different instruments do and how many aerosols they produce and where and how they produce aerosols so that we could have some things in place to mitigate that." They march six feet apart. Every member wears a mask. "You cut a slit, a small slit in the mask. Just enough for the mouthpiece to be able to go in." The carry a second mask as well. "As as soon as they're done playing, they have a question, they're coming off the field or moving, they put another mask over the mask that has the slit." There's also a solution to keep aerosols from escaping instruments. "Because if I have a trumpet, the bell is at the end where the sound is coming out. So that's also a touch point for aerosols. So we're also using bell covers. Clarinets and saxophones actually require bags. They have holes all the way down the instrument." The Marching Virginians play to a bit of a different beat, amid the pandemic. "There was a lot of processing and having to think about how it was going to be completely different than all my other years that we've been here." But appreciate being together more than ever. "It's awesome, honestly to see all my friends again because all my classes are online and through zoom and stuff. But this is my one in-person thing and so getting to come here to my favorite place on campus, honestly and seeing all my friends and even seeing them from a distance is so much better than just staying in my apartment all day."