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Belpre High School band looking to “carry on” after the pandemic

Published: Aug. 26, 2021 at 3:49 PM EDT
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BELPRE, Ohio (WTAP) - With so much taken away because of the pandemic, the Belpre High School marching band is looking to capture that same emotion in their halftime performances this year. And they’ve found some songs they feel do just that.

And that is why the Golden Eagles are this edition’s “Band of the Week.”

“Our show this year is ‘Carry On.’ So, it’s almost like more of a sad theme song,” says clarinets section leader, Taylor Parker.”

The band is playing songs like “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance, “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa, and music from the film “Dance Macabre.”

Band members say they want to give the audience a sad, yet uplifting halftime show, this year’s theme is all about loss and enjoying the times people have right now.

It’s something that this senior group of 11 says they know all too well after what they went through during the pandemic.

“Since last year, we had barely anything to do. I mean, we had festivals and stuff put together, but this year is where we have everything back. And we can have all of our competitions and have a good time,” says tuba player, Michaela Miller. “I feel bad for last year’s seniors. But I’m glad that our seniors get to enjoy our last year doing this.”

“Considering how small our bad is this year it almost represents how we have to carry on. Considering the hit we took from COVID,” says percussionist, Claudia Church. “So, I’m hoping that this signifies we’ll be growing more as we go on.”

The band is 48 members strong, and band director, William Van Pelt says that the group has been putting in long hours since the end of June.

“The band’s been working extremely hard. They’re doing a great job. I mean their work ethic is amazing,” says Van Pelt.

The band is looking to take every chance they get to perform in front of an audience again.

Van Pelt says, “Last year, marching band looked completely different than it did this year. Our opportunities to perform for the public were limited. Last year, we only had three home football games, we were able to go to two band festivals but there was no competitions or anything like that. These seniors are working hard because they know what it’s like now to experience that loss of not being out in the public and perform.”

You can catch the Belpre marching band performing at Music on the River on August 31st.

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