PIANO MAN: Amory Panther Marching Band 2020
By Jill Byars The Prowl News
At the initial mention of the possibility of marching season a few months past, no one was quite sure what was in store for this year. COVID-19 left every leader uncertain and unsure regarding the decision to allow it to take place, considering that preparing and performing a marching show would require about one hundred students to remain within six feet without masks for a significant period of time. However, these complications did not stop the Amory High School Band from remaining in the stands during football season, while still maintaining a safe and healthy environment for the students.
During the early preparation days, ground safety precautions were applied and the drum majors, Nhi Nguyen (SR) and Dat Nguyen (JR), as well as the remainder of the leadership team, were instructed to abide by and help remind other students to follow the given credentials. When attending camp, each student was required to have a mandatory temperature check before entering the band hall. Once entering the band hall, students were prohibited to remove their masks unless instructed otherwise. The student would then take his or her instrument and report to the band practice field, where he or she would stand six feet away from other students during announcements, the fundamental marching routine, and the warm-up. Though students must remain maskless while playing a wind instrument, each band member is instructed to wear his or her mask between practice runs during water breaks, stay six feet away from other students, and to stay home if he or she is experiencing any symptoms.
This year’s show is entitled Piano Man and consists of songs performed by Billy Joel, including “My Life,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire,” and “Just the Way You Are.” The show includes special performance features from all sections of the band, including but not limited to a strong and confident low brass section and exquisite front ensemble candids. Jill Byars (SR), Zach Scaggs (JR), and Gabriel Navarro (SO) all hold the trumpet solo during the rendition of “My Life.”
The outlook on the remaining duration of the season is hopeful; the final touches and pieces of the show are currently being put into place and reviewed during the first period on school days and after school rehearsals. Students, teachers, and fans of Amory High School football can all agree that without the band, the games are not the same, and it is a blessing to see it present.