Band-O-Rama returns after pandemic cancellation with seven teams

Published: Oct. 2, 2021 at 8:30 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - “The one big thing our kids said at the beginning of the season is they just wanted a normal year. And when we had last year, we did our home games. But these are really the events that keep our program going. And keep our kids to work hard. And I think bands across the state, including us, it’s a struggle this year. But it’s great to see live music again,” says Perry high school band director, Ryan Smith.

The 60th Annual “Band-O-Rama” is back after pausing last year because of the pandemic.

Over the last year band mates worked on more than just their field routine.

“I think it’s kind of just serial almost,” says Perry HS band member, Leah Briggs. “Because last year, obviously, we didn’t get this chance. And I think it’s brought us closer. Not only just as band members, but closer together as friends, and family.”

The pandemic has impacted more than just competitions.

Many bands have seen fewer people come out to play.

“There’s a lot of schools that were negatively affected by the coronavirus and the COVID pandemic,” says Marietta HS band director, Korey Parlin. “So, it’s really helping to reboost some of the programs that had been struggling.”

Directors and band players are most excited being able to play in front of crowds again.

Perry HS band member, Anola Mayle says, “I feel like it’s definitely a little more rewarding now that we actually have the competitions. So, it makes it feel as if our work is actually worth something.”

Especially in these competitions.

“I think the band is more than just an event. It’s a community. And we were all really missing that last year. Especially when every band across the country was affected by the pandemic,” says Perry HS band member, Lily Stuart. “We couldn’t have away games, we couldn’t come to competitions. And I think that for Perry especially our sense of family has returned. And that’s a really nice feeling.”

Perry HS, Lancaster HS, and John Glenn HS are the three teams from this competition that will be moving on to compete for a chance at states.

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