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Please keep your political stances out of this forum. It's not the place for it.

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1 hour ago, JustPassingThru said:

For my school it seems like maybe 1/3 of the fans in the stands are band parents. If no marching band, football game ticket sales will likely go down.

That actually sounds awesome! Glad to hear your band/school/team gets so much support.

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Theoretically, let's say there are only 2 or 3 contests for the entire Fall.  Bands aren't allowed at games and there are no town parades.  Is marching band still worth it?  What if those contests are 4 hours away and you have to double the amount of buses?

By your state MEA making this tough call, it actually takes pressure off of the local director.  Now, they can say KMEA is the bad guy.  If there was still SMBC going on, they would have to make that decision...either way a huge percentage of your families would be upset with.

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13 hours ago, JuliusKorngold said:

Theoretically, let's say there are only 2 or 3 contests for the entire Fall.  Bands aren't allowed at games and there are no town parades.  Is marching band still worth it?  What if those contests are 4 hours away and you have to double the amount of buses?

By your state MEA making this tough call, it actually takes pressure off of the local director.  Now, they can say KMEA is the bad guy.  If there was still SMBC going on, they would have to make that decision...either way a huge percentage of your families would be upset with.

As it relates to the bus thing, I drive for Warren County Schools now, it's really up to the district and their guidelines. I'm told when we start school that siblings may sit together in the same seat and if we have few enough kids on our route that we are to encourage staggering seats. Also, we have to load from back to front and all kids will have to use hand sanitizer as they get on the bus. Now I know each district is gonna handle it differently, but this is just an example of what bus travel will look like once school has started.

Edited by Chase

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Here's a thought?  What about strictly local competitions?  Local enough that you don't even need buses (or can cut down on the number of students that need to ride by bus).  For example:

--Lexington-area schools compete.  You could have a competition at Henry Clay, Madison Central, etc.  

--Louisville-area schools compete.  (If you can find enough competitive bands...)

--Owensboro-area schools compete.  (DC, Apollo, Owensboro, Catholic, Ohio County, McLean, Hancock, etc.)

--Madisonville/Hopkinsville area

--Paducah/Jackson Purchase area

--Various areas in the mountains

--Northern Kentucky area

--Bowling Green area

Bands compete only against schools in their area. That eliminates the need for long-distance travel.  Kids who drive can drive themselves.  A certain percentage will have their parents drive them.  Thus you have enough room to social distance on buses for kids who have no other option by to travel by bus.  

Fans in the stands or not is up to the competition.  Probably easier to say none.  That sucks, but it is what it is.  

It's not a much of a fundraiser for bands, true.  But it's an opportunity for kids to go out, compete.  Yes, they'd be competing against the same bands each time, but it can be held at different venues in the band's "region."  Even if it's only 2 or 3 shows.  That's better than nothing.  

Just a thought.   What's to stop anyone for doing this if they want to?  Can KMEA stop you?  

 

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The answer to our failure to mitigate the virus isn't to continue to fail. 

Since as a country we have failed, a hard course correction is needed. Which, in this case, means no in-person schooling. How we've not adequately prepared for that reality is another topic. 

Since this scenario is what is needed, it's imperative that teachers prepare themselves and their students for what this looks like. We have to remember that a student's need for safety is the highest priority. After that comes their need for an education in music. Since safety is paramount, the vehicle for education must fit that reality. 

Marching band, no matter what form that takes, has always been a want. In Kentucky, more often than not, it even detracts from a student receiving a well-rounded music education. In no way can a want get in the way of a student's safety. If a teacher who has been given the latitude to make their own decision on this matter wishes to continue on in any format with marching band, they are making the choice to endanger every person under their charge. In the service of a want. At best, they are negligent in their duties. At worst, they care not for the lives of those around them. 

This is an opportunity for teachers to reimagine how music education is relevant to the student, school, and community. For the overwhelming majority of classrooms, the pandemic has shown that the large ensemble setting was already teetering on the edge of obsolescence. Exploring modes of teaching that more closely match the relaties of music making today, while still providing students with necessary fundamentals, will only benefit every stakeholder. 

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1 hour ago, tubadude62 said:

The answer to our failure to mitigate the virus isn't to continue to fail. 

Since as a country we have failed, a hard course correction is needed. Which, in this case, means no in-person schooling. How we've not adequately prepared for that reality is another topic. 

Since this scenario is what is needed, it's imperative that teachers prepare themselves and their students for what this looks like. We have to remember that a student's need for safety is the highest priority. After that comes their need for an education in music. Since safety is paramount, the vehicle for education must fit that reality. 

I would respectfully disagree that we've 'failed' to mitigate this virus. But that's a long and tedious discussion of statistics, the normal course of novel contagious diseases, the intricacies of modern interconnected society, and to a lesser extent, the validity of your information sources. Nothing anyone wants clogging a band forum, certainly.

What is more applicable in this forum would be contextualizing the idea of student 'safety' and the novel COVID-19. In the simplest terms I can think of, children have an exponentially greater chance of being injured or dying from accidental poisoning at home than they do of being hospitalized (let alone perishing from) COVID-19 they might 'catch' at school. There are a multitude of other well-reasoned arguments for returning children and teachers to school set forth by respected institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

One example from the CDC's latest release on COVID-19: ... for children (0-17 years), cumulative COVID-19 hospitalization rates are lower than cumulative influenza hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons. 

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1 minute ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

I would respectfully disagree that we've 'failed' to mitigate this virus. But that's a long and tedious discussion of statistics, the normal course of novel contagious diseases, the intricacies of modern interconnected society, and to a lesser extent, the validity of your information sources. Nothing anyone wants clogging a band forum, certainly.

What is more applicable in this forum would be contextualizing the idea of student 'safety' and the novel COVID-19. In the simplest terms I can think of, children have an exponentially greater chance of being injured or dying from accidental poisoning at home than they do of being hospitalized (let alone perishing from) COVID-19 they might 'catch' at school. There are a multitude of other well-reasoned arguments for returning children and teachers to school set forth by respected institutions like the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics. 

One example from the CDC's latest release on COVID-19: ... for children (0-17 years), cumulative COVID-19 hospitalization rates are lower than cumulative influenza hospitalization rates during recent influenza seasons. 

The issue isn’t necessarily the children themselves getting it, it’s the fact they will take it home. If a child gets COVID, their parents will almost assuredly get it too. So now we go from a low amount of dead children (still unacceptable imo) to entire communities becoming cross connected and infected.

 

Side note: glad the brief discussion of bands lasted as long as it did in this thread lol

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24 minutes ago, trombobble said:

Side note: glad the brief discussion of bands lasted as long as it did in this thread lol

Hey, I'm trying!  

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30 minutes ago, trombobble said:

The issue isn’t necessarily the children themselves getting it, it’s the fact they will take it home. If a child gets COVID, their parents will almost assuredly get it too. So now we go from a low amount of dead children (still unacceptable imo) to entire communities becoming cross connected and infected.

 

Side note: glad the brief discussion of bands lasted as long as it did in this thread lol

Actually, the ability for a child under 10 to pass COVID-19 to others is almost nil.  No one understands why, but the prevailing theory involves immature bodies not having the ACE receptors equivalent to older persons. A person's ability to transmit COVID-19 to others only begins to approach that of adults in middle to late high school. And I haven't seen the evidence yet that household members "will almost assuredly get it too". 

When it comes to 'spreading' the disease, no credible person has ever stated the virus can possibly be contained. Flattening the curve is the best outcome you can hope for until you have either herd immunity (which actually requires the disease to spread among low-risk populations), or a safe and effective vaccine and/or antiviral. And no matter how flat the curve, the area under the curve (number of deaths) remains the same. You have only delayed an outcome, not changed an outcome.

Edited by LongTimeBandMan
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22 hours ago, KMEA Commenter said:

Here's a thought?  What about strictly local competitions?  Local enough that you don't even need buses (or can cut down on the number of students that need to ride by bus).  For example:

--Lexington-area schools compete.  You could have a competition at Henry Clay, Madison Central, etc.  

--Louisville-area schools compete.  (If you can find enough competitive bands...)

--Owensboro-area schools compete.  (DC, Apollo, Owensboro, Catholic, Ohio County, McLean, Hancock, etc.)

--Madisonville/Hopkinsville area

--Paducah/Jackson Purchase area

--Various areas in the mountains

--Northern Kentucky area

--Bowling Green area

Bands compete only against schools in their area. That eliminates the need for long-distance travel.  Kids who drive can drive themselves.  A certain percentage will have their parents drive them.  Thus you have enough room to social distance on buses for kids who have no other option by to travel by bus.  

Fans in the stands or not is up to the competition.  Probably easier to say none.  That sucks, but it is what it is.  

It's not a much of a fundraiser for bands, true.  But it's an opportunity for kids to go out, compete.  Yes, they'd be competing against the same bands each time, but it can be held at different venues in the band's "region."  Even if it's only 2 or 3 shows.  That's better than nothing.  

Just a thought.   What's to stop anyone for doing this if they want to?  Can KMEA stop you?  

 

There are a few programs that are already working on this or a version of this! I think more of a festival type situation as opposed to an actual competition with possible local guest judge for feedback but mostly to give the kids a place to perform.  I would say it's a fluid situation and changes daily but will ultimately be decided upon the BOE of these groups. There are several programs who are getting amazing support from their local school admins and working together with the music programs to help navigate what could possibly happen. If certain groups can figure out how to allow their group and even just 2 other semi local bands come in and perform I'm excited about that. 

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53 minutes ago, Bandgeeks1 said:

There are a few programs that are already working on this or a version of this! I think more of a festival type situation as opposed to an actual competition with possible local guest judge for feedback but mostly to give the kids a place to perform.  I would say it's a fluid situation and changes daily but will ultimately be decided upon the BOE of these groups. There are several programs who are getting amazing support from their local school admins and working together with the music programs to help navigate what could possibly happen. If certain groups can figure out how to allow their group and even just 2 other semi local bands come in and perform I'm excited about that. 

Great to hear.  Why just festival ratings, though?  If the bands show up to perform, why not let them compete?  Of course, bands that just want festival ratings should always have that option, as they do in KMEA.  If everybody's there, may as well hand out some scores, eh?  

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57 minutes ago, Bandgeeks1 said:

There are a few programs that are already working on this or a version of this! I think more of a festival type situation as opposed to an actual competition with possible local guest judge for feedback but mostly to give the kids a place to perform.  I would say it's a fluid situation and changes daily but will ultimately be decided upon the BOE of these groups. There are several programs who are getting amazing support from their local school admins and working together with the music programs to help navigate what could possibly happen. If certain groups can figure out how to allow their group and even just 2 other semi local bands come in and perform I'm excited about that. 

This is a great idea, and I know of at least one area of the state that was looking at possibly doing an area-wide festival type event not long before COVID-19 hit. It would be nice if they were still trying to put this together. 

2 minutes ago, KMEA Commenter said:

Great to hear.  Why just festival ratings, though?  If the bands show up to perform, why not let them compete?  Of course, bands that just want festival ratings should always have that option, as they do in KMEA.  If everybody's there, may as well hand out some scores, eh?  

I love band, and love the idea of competition that brings out the best in people. If some groups can pull off putting together a competitive event, that's great. Competitive events present even greater logistical challenges in the world of COVID-19. Not the least of which is money. Judges need to be paid, facilities need to be cleaned to new standards, transportation with social distancing becomes tricky. Everyone who attended would probably have to be screened with temperature checks. Are kids going to be wearing uniforms? And how many bands at this point have even started to put together any type of show? Your pool of potential participants is getting pretty small. Then there's the fact that many districts are still tottering on the fence about whether or not they are going 100% NTI this fall. 

Long story short, I want to see some type of marching arts events this year. But I fear that Karen has spoken, and its not looking good. 

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16 minutes ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

I love band, and love the idea of competition that brings out the best in people. If some groups can pull off putting together a competitive event, that's great. Competitive events present even greater logistical challenges in the world of COVID-19. Not the least of which is money. Judges need to be paid, facilities need to be cleaned to new standards, transportation with social distancing becomes tricky. Everyone who attended would probably have to be screened with temperature checks. Are kids going to be wearing uniforms? And how many bands at this point have even started to put together any type of show? Your pool of potential participants is getting pretty small. Then there's the fact that many districts are still tottering on the fence about whether or not they are going 100% NTI this fall. 

Long story short, I want to see some type of marching arts events this year. But I fear that Karen has spoken, and its not looking good. 

All of what you say is true about a competition event.  But, with the exception of paying judges, all of those things are equally true about a festival/exhibition event where bands are coming together to perform their shows on the same field, are they not?  And if you want bands to get comments along with festival ratings, I assume you still have to pay judges for that too. 

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2 minutes ago, KMEA Commenter said:

All of what you say is true about a competition event.  But, with the exception of paying judges, all of those things are equally true about a festival/exhibition event where bands are coming together to perform their shows on the same field, are they not?  And if you want bands to get comments along with festival ratings, I assume you still have to pay judges for that too. 

You could probably get local judges to volunteer. I'm not sure locals would provide scores - too many would complain about partiality. But they would more likely provide feedback tapes in a festival event. Local events wouldn't be beholden to the school for transportation, either. Parents and students can handle their own. 

Crowd/gathering size limits of 10 or fewer present another problem, however. 

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Question. What is a local judge?

Z

Not trying to be funny. It's a semi serious question.

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11 minutes ago, MikeZ said:

Question. What is a local judge?

Z

Not trying to be funny. It's a semi serious question.

My thought would be the directors and/or staff members of the bands involved. Or friends of the same who live nearby. People who wouldn't need to worry about travel restrictions and would be willing to work pro bono. Likely people with few degrees of separation from some or all of the participants and therefore difficult to be found convincingly impartial. Perfectly acceptable for a fun festival type of event, but fodder for complaints in a 'true competition'. And we get enough of that in a non-pandemic year. Ultimately, if you want a 'competition', my thought is that you should not cut corners and you should bring in judges who you can at least argue are impartial. Yes, yes... I know a great many of KY judges are more-or-less 'local'. And all judges have hearts of gold who will set aside their own predilections for rewarding their buddies. 

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26 minutes ago, MikeZ said:

Question. What is a local judge?

Z

Not trying to be funny. It's a semi serious question.

Retired band directors in your local area? 

(Which sounds like one of those weird late-night phone sex lines from the 90s.  "Hot retired band directors in your area are waiting to talk to you.")

(Gross.)

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I just don’t see how a local show would be worth it. Seems like a lot of hassle for little to no reward. 

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47 minutes ago, LongTimeBandMan said:

You could probably get local judges to volunteer. I'm not sure locals would provide scores - too many would complain about partiality. But they would more likely provide feedback tapes in a festival event. Local events wouldn't be beholden to the school for transportation, either. Parents and students can handle their own. 

Crowd/gathering size limits of 10 or fewer present another problem, however. 

The partiality issue is a fair point re: competition, because you are absolutely correct the panel would have to come from locally available judges.  I guess if you could get the panel to have a decent balance of retired directors or others affiliated with different schools, you could lessen that concern quite a bit.  But not 100%.  

Of course, I think this has been an issue at local competitions for a long time, to some degree.  

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5 minutes ago, Brass33 said:

I just don’t see how a local show would be worth it. Seems like a lot of hassle for little to no reward. 

Aren't most shows during the average KMEA season largely "local" in nature?  Depends on how we define "local" of course, but if you define it as a one-county-or-so radius around a site (with the site situated in the largest town in a region), which is what I am thinking, that's pretty much who shows up to most competitions held at X high school during an average KMEA season anyway.  There might be an oddball or two that comes from two hours away, but that's the exception rather than the rule.  Those oddball schools just wouldn't attend in this scenario.

Edited by KMEA Commenter

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MLB and the NCAA with unlimited money and resources cannot contain the virus. Why do we think high school band directors with no money and limited resources would do a better job? There should be no shows...local or otherwise. If folks want to spend time focusing on something as unimportant as marching band, it should be figuring out what needs to be done to allow a 2021 season to happen. The ship has sailed on 2020. Any energy spent on competing (in any form) in 2020 is a waste.

 

Get kids safely in buildings. Focus on education. Keep our fingers crossed that 2021 can happen.

 

Z

Just trying to be realistic.

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10 minutes ago, MikeZ said:

MLB and the NCAA with unlimited money and resources cannot contain the virus. Why do we think high school band directors with no money and limited resources would do a better job? There should be no shows...local or otherwise. If folks want to spend time focusing on something as unimportant as marching band, it should be figuring out what needs to be done to allow a 2021 season to happen. The ship has sailed on 2020. Any energy spent on competing (in any form) in 2020 is a waste.

 

Get kids safely in buildings. Focus on education. Keep our fingers crossed that 2021 can happen.

 

Z

Just trying to be realistic.

Kids are safer outside.  Marching band happens outside.  It's safer than indoor music instruction in a building at this point.  To wit:  https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/07/why-arent-we-talking-more-about-airborne-transmission/614737/

I get your point, believe me.  You're likely right that a season of any sort for any band is a long-shot at this point.  This is all just spit-balling (minus the spit, of course, because COVID).  It may simply just not be possible at all without considerable amounts of indoor instruction, which at this point is patently dangerous.  If that's the case, and it can't all be conducted outdoors, then I 100% agree it cannot be done safely.  

But, on the other hand, if kids can play football and other contact sports (which appears like it may actually happen at this point), and instruction can be done entirely outside (again...maybe it just can't), then I don't see why marching band is any more unrealistic than football, even if it looks quite a bit different this year.    

 

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On 7/30/2020 at 10:36 AM, KMEA Commenter said:

--Louisville-area schools compete.  (If you can find enough competitive bands...)

There always seems to be confusion with the rest of the state on this topic. The following Louisville Bands are competitive:

Southern, PRP, Seneca - Mid-states only

duPont Manual, Ballard, Male, Butler Traditional, Eastern - a combination of circuits (mostly KMEA or Mid-states). In recent years, Eastern and duPont Manual are the only two JCPS bands that have participated in KMEA state competition. Eastern has also started doing some BOA regionals. 

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On 7/31/2020 at 11:53 AM, Brass33 said:

I just don’t see how a local show would be worth it. Seems like a lot of hassle for little to no reward. 

"It's not about winning."

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