Hey all... here's the plan for WIND ENSEMBLE. This is a work in progress, and (like a lot of things) will adapt as situations change.
Similar plans for Marching Band and Jazz Ensemble/Combos are still being hammered out.
Please email me if you have any questions.
Stay safe, wash your hands, wear a mask, and so forth.
(reposted from an email dated 7/14/20; edited)
Hello Cardinal Marching Band!
I cannot begin to tell you how much I have missed you! I can't wait until we're all back together again. This has been the longest summer ever.....and still too short! We're about a month away from starting the new edition, but I really wanted to send you some info ahead of time.
This has obviously been a weird time. Our goal is to be a bit of normal and fun in a strange time.
This week, Dr. Yonchak is sending out the info Google form. If you could fill that out quickly, that would be very helpful in our planning process. Also, if you know of folks who have not been a part of our band before but should be, please invite them and forward the link. We will be excited to have all interested parties in all sections. That link will be on the Otterbein Band website at http://www.otterbeinbands.com/ I'll contact you again when it's ready to go, but please check out the site. Dr. Yonchak has added important new content.
We are still planning to have the front ensemble this year. Since equipment is always an issue, if you're intending to be in the FE, please let me know right away. Also please let me know what you'd like to play. We just need to time to assemble things and make plans.
Our traditional band camp is going to be somewhat different than in years past. They are not allowing anyone to move in until Saturday, August 15. There will be new rules about that, so we will have to be flexible. Individuals will have to sign up for an appointment. More on that to come.
Camp was supposed to begin on the 9th. That obviously can't happen. My current plan is to send you all as much music as possible so you can start practicing. We'll do some virtual rehearsing and use things like Flipgrid, Zoom or even Smart Music. People who are local may be able to get together for rehearsal. I'll let you know more as I know it. In particular, the color guard and twirlers may be able to do outdoor things.
The camp may have to simply be extended into the next weekend. I'm looking at possibilities. Currently, we would be able to do whatever we can on Saturday the 15th after move in. Sunday we'll get a nice longer day. Monday and Tuesday, most of the staff are teaching in the public schools (probably?), so like last year, there would likely be sectionals in the morning and more visual in the afternoon and evening. Traditionally, Wednesday would begin the new student orientation things. There is no public plan for that yet. If we can use more of that week or the following weekend, it will be very helpful.
Since they are only allowing a certain number of people in the Nest at one time, we will have no choice but to stagger meal times. We will most likely have to do that by section.
Chances are, we will be outside for the vast majority of the day. When indoors, we'll have to wear masks and follow all the protocols we've been getting used to. The Colorado study about wind instruments came out yesterday. Dr. Yonchak has posted that on the band website if you would like to check that out.
During the season, we'll rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays 4:15 to 6:15. We'll also do a rehearsal block on game days. With the switch to only conference games this season, we now have five games this season instead of the six we were supposed to have. Homecoming will be virtual. I don't know what that means yet. We usually play at the Opening Convocation. I have no idea if that is a thing this year.
Our performance schedule is:
Thursday, August 20 - Opening Convocation (in place in front of Towers by 9:00) TBD
Saturday, September 26 - Homecoming vs. Ohio Northern (No actual parade, but some other possible event - 2:00 kickoff)
Saturday, October 3 - game vs. Mount Union - (1:30 kickoff)
Saturday, October 17 - game vs. Heidelberg (1:30 kickoff)
Saturday, October 31 - game vs. Capital (12:00 kickoff)
Saturday, November 7 - game vs. Marietta (1:30 kickoff)
This is subject to change, but this is what I have so far. Typically, we will have a rehearsal before the game. For most games, we'll meet around 8:00 or 8:30. If you recall, last year almost the entire season was in September. This year is way different.
It is possible that there will be limited or even no spectators in the stands. We will be the hype!
Who is Techie?
They would like to see if we can do a virtual Love Song. Do any of you have the skills to create one of those virtual ensembles we keep seeing? Please let me know
With the current health issues, we will not be wearing the uniforms this year. In warm weather, we will plan to use the summer uniform. For the cooler time, Dr. Yonchak and I are exploring options. More info as it comes.
I had planned a different kind of show this year. With all the uncertainty, it did not seem prudent to spend the money that would be required for the rights to the music. With that in mind, I'd like your suggestions. Out of necessity, we will have to do less drill and more standing and playing. We will need to be at least at a 4 step interval at all times. Lots of lines and boxes. Fewer curves . No pass throughs. It's just the way of the world this year.
Please send me your suggestions of music you would like to play. I will try to find it and buy it. Next week, I would like to do a Zoom meeting with any and all who would like to participate. I have scheduled it for Monday, July 20 at 7:00 PM. Here is the Zoom meeting invitation:
Jordi Vilanova is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: Jordi Vilanova's Zoom Meeting
Time: Jul 20, 2020 07:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 852 8775 8393
We will talk about your suggestions and do a quick thumbs up/thumbs down survey.
Also, there is a show that has been written by some big guns in the marching band/drum corps world that is designed to be a unifying theme. I have requested it, and it's something we'll consider as a special occasion.
Obviously we have not been able to meet. I would very much like to keep our leadership in place. That said, there are so many strong members. If you would like to be considered for a leadership position, please email me, and we'll talk.
I have heard from some of you about a class conflict, and I have tried to make sure I contacted the registrar about any overrides. If you needed that and you don't see it done yet, please email me right away.
Pep Band Music Survey:
We have been using several things for quite awhile. They are fun, and I like them a lot. That said, maybe not everyone feels the same. Here is a link to a survey with our pep tunes list. I encourage you to fill this out so we can make informed decisions.
This is my very first Google survey! It only took me 8 hours to learn how to do this!
While you're looking at registration, please consider giving Jazz Ensemble a try. We need people in all sections. Are you interested in learning more about different styles? Trying to improve doubling chops? Come give this a try. The class meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7:00-9:00.
On the website are some important pdf's for individuals. You'll find:
Percussion Audition Packet
Recurring Class Conflict Form
One Time Absence Form
You'll find these under the CMB Info tab.
Band Camp Materials:
You should start accumulating a few items that you will need through the season. They are:
Sneakers (not sandals, boots, uggs, clogs, loafers, etc) Hi-top basketball shoes are not acceptable footwear. No need to spend a bundle of money. Converse will work. It's important to have footwear appropriate for this activity to avoid injury.
Socks (very important) Little "footies" that slip down are not good. Please make sure they come up to at least the ankle.
Pencil (more than one!)
1" 3 ring binder
Plastic sheets (go ahead and put your music in these)
Water jug - 1 gallon We do not share. No spreading illness!
We're rehearsing at the athletic field, and there is no running water. Bringing a jug is very important. Please don't try to get by with a smallish bottle. At camp, it just won't be enough. We will NOT be able to provide a community water cooler this year.
Bag or backpack in which to keep all the stuff
Metronome and tuner (just because)
Reeds, valve oil, stick tape, lyers, flip folders, etc.
It is most definitely not too late to join our group. Please recruit your friends. In particular, we would like to increase our brass and saxophone numbers.
Music and Arts:
Music and Arts is our local music store. They are located within walking distance from campus at 43 N. State St. right next to the Church of the Messiah.
While I have an Otterbein address, it goes unused most of the time. The best email for me is firstname.lastname@example.org and my cell is 614-561-4930.
I'm really getting excited to start this season with you!
Please be safe! Much love,
Director of Bands
Walnut Springs Middle School
Where do I even start... this situation is dicey to say the least. Regardless of anything that happens, your collective safety is priority one for me as we try to figure out how to safely handle all the band ensembles moving forward. That fact is non-negotiable.
In an effort to have everything in one place, this blog will be the main source of all information related to the Otterbein Bands moving forward in this new landscape. Keep an eye here, and for updates on our social media outlets.
Here's what I know, and I wish I had more...
On Monday, 7/13, Colorado State University is scheduled to release a full blown scientific study exploring how wind and brass instruments disperse aerosols related to the spread of the COVID-19 virus. This is going to give us (hopefully) some solid information on how to safely handle band instruments and best protect the students that use them. I'm waiting to read this study before releasing any plan for the Otterbein bands, but the marching band, wind ensemble, studio lessons, and chamber ensembles will all certainly be part of it. Here's a link to the initial announcement of the study:
A further complication is that plans will be different for each ensemble, each studio teacher, and for each area in the Music Department - the wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, and marching band will have different needs, as will the orchestras and choirs in their respective areas. This will not be a one-size-fits-all solution.
Over the past two months, I've been collecting information from government agencies, K-12 schools and Universities, and various music organizations about reopening plans and details of alternate uniforms, various face coverings, distancing suggestions, cleaning/sterilization, indoor/outdoor rehearsal protocols... the list is extensive and exhausting. But, it's important to remember that literally all of this is speculation loosely based on a very small chunk of common information about what COVID-19 is, does, and how it moves. That's why the Colorado State study is so very important.
MARCHING BAND: This all being said, I've been in regular contact with athletics and campus housing about band camp and upcoming football events. There are no official announcements, save for the Ohio Athletic Conference (OAC) reworking its season schedule to include ONLY conference games starting on September 19, and those games are being rescheduled within the existing schedule for this fall (link to the OAC announcement). I was told that I would have some information related to how this plays out for Otterbein next week. There is also a possibility that games will be played without spectators in the stands, which then brings into question whether or not the marching band will be considered part of that audience and, if so, how do we keep everyone safe. But if not, then what?
I am tap dancing around a firm answer, and I apologize for that - I'm just as anxious to have a working plan as anyone. I'm hoping to hear something very soon (next week?) about what the fall athletics schedule will look like, which will then inform what summer campus housing/residence life is able to accommodate, which will then help me fill in the blanks on what we are going to do about band camp and football games moving forward. As a tangent, the plans for wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, and other band area ensembles and lessons will be informed primarily by the Colorado State study (because science, y'all). I will post a master plan as soon as all the information has been thoroughly reviewed and discussed with other area directors and studio teachers (now collectively referred to as "the gang").
Above all, be excellent to each other. Wash your hands. Wear a mask.
Otterbein University's ongoing COVID-19 announcements: https://www.otterbein.edu/covid19/return-to-campus-information/