It feels surreal to think that this time last year we were participating in regular rehearsals, finishing our winter season, and starting to prepare for the excitement that summer would bring with our field show and tour. We’ve spent the past year hearing how we are in “unprecedented times” and have patiently awaited our “new normal”, however, we now know that it’s not as simple as we once thought. The impacts of COIVD-19 will carry far past our one-year mark. In recognition of us working together through these changes, we wanted to take time to reflect on our past year and shine a light on some of the positives we’ve experienced.
Supporting education with technology
When our program was put on hold last March, the immediate effect of not having weekly face-to-face interactions was felt both from our members and our instructors. Without realizing that our last rehearsal would be our last, our band was forced to turn to alternative forms of education. In the past, we had utilized technology to communicate updates and smaller pieces of information. At this point, we were now relying on it for every aspect of our band. Although it may have not been the easiest transition for everyone, our band effectively transitioned all of its education to a digital format. This transition meant that our members and staff had to adapt to positively work through these changes.
While there still seems to be no clear substitute for face-to-face learning, it is important to note the activities can still be achieved through digital learning. The video below is an excellent example of a project our band competed in last spring.
Importance of our community
Community has always been a key value in building our band. This value was brought to fruition over the past 12 months when we were unable to engage with our community on a regular basis. Our members have worked together to ensure this community is maintained for the time when we are able to gather again. Although cliché, the statement that the pandemic has driven us closer together by pulling us apart could not be closer to the truth. The separation of COVID-19 made everyone in our band instantly aware of the community and support system they had around them. Created through an activity such as band, it was clear that the community has stretched far beyond just music and movement. As if an extended family, our members reached out and supported those around them through the hardest of times.
Witnessing the strength of our community has inspired us and made us excited to return to working with excellent members and continuing to build our community.
Opportunity to work on new goals
Although our band continued to meet digitally/distanced throughout the spring of 2020, our members did not have the same level of commitment with rehearsals and performances as they would in a normal summer. This free time gave many of our members an opportunity to try new activities (while remaining safe) and test their passion in a new direction. Seeing our members pick up new activities over the summer is a clear example of the drive our members carry with them. Whatever the activity, our program is designed to teach youth the importance of growth, both in and out of our program.
It’s no secret that over the past 12 months, many different activities have faced struggles in trying to adapt. However, it is important not to only think of what was last, but rather, what learned during this time. The pandemic has helped us realize what we have to be grateful for and it has prepared us to appreciate it all the more when we are back together again.
Looking to learn more about how creativity, passion, and community impact our band? Read our blog post.