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Jenison marching band making changes during the pandemic

Posted at 10:50 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 19:17:46-04

JENISON — Band camp is looking different this year with the pandemic, but the students at Jenison High School are taking it all in stride.

Dave Zomborksy is the director of bands for Jenison High School and is working hard to make sure kids are able to take part in band while making their health and safety a priority.

"As our students come in, they're getting their temperature taken and going through a health screening. much like if you've gone to a doctor's office in the last month or so everybody's asking the same questions. And I think the biggest thing that we're feeling in terms of how effect has affected our rehearsal got that 100% limit for gatherings outside, and we've got a marching band of 185," he said. "So we've been pretty creative about how we've grouped the kids up and kept them in separate spaces, so that we're kind of maximizing our time. and still getting all the kids, you know, the about the same amount of rehearsal time that they would typically have."

It might be challenging, but they're finding ways to move forward.

"It's going to get a little bit more challenging here in the next few weeks as we approach what would typically maybe like our camp season, in that we've got longer days scheduled. But with still not being able to have more than 100 kids together at a time, we're gonna have to be really creative about doing things that we would normally do all together, like learning built together or rehearsing music together, we're not able to do those things. So we'll have to shift the schedule around and have different kids moving to different spots so that we're still being productive, but not violating that hundred percent limit."

Madelyn Schab is a senior and is the head drum major of the marching band.

"Yeah, so this year is different," she said. "We are having to split up our sectional times into two groups, which can prove to be difficult bonding wise, because we're not all together. And we're having to say, six feet apart and social distance and wearing masks, but i think that is really even brought us closer together as a group because we're trying to take care of each other the best we can and we're trying to keep this season going."

After winning state last year, Zomborsky says it's the students that keeps him on his feet every year.

"I think all of us are learning to cope with some disappointment, we've had some significant changes to the scope and the timing of our competitive season. And that, you know, a lot of that we are just actually telling the kids about last night and tonight," he said. "So, you know, there's some disappointment there that the season is not going to feel the way it is used to feeling. And our focus really has to just become on valuing the process and enjoying being part of the activity because the end product, or what we look like in terms of performances really might not be the same as what we would typically have. yeah, and that's gonna be tough for the seniors in general."

"I'm just so thankful for this opportunity and getting to lead this amazing brand program, and what these past three years have offered me and all the experiences," Madelyn said.