TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - In today’s announcement about fall sports schedules, the UIL also gave guidelines for when marching bands are able to start their seasons.
“I was relieved that we had something concrete to go with from the UIL,” said Rhonda Daniel, the director of bands at Longview high school. “We’ve been anticipating that for a while and I was relieved we got some extra time with our kids to make up for the time we lost last spring.”
Reactions from East Texas band directors seemed mostly positive today after the UIL announced it’s new calendar for marching bands.
“Now, instead of the August 1 date being the time we’re able to start our competitive drill and visual curriculum, now we have to wait until September 7 to do that,” said Paulette Tomlinson. The purpose is to keep everybody on an even playing ground and make sure no one is spending all summer on their competitive show while some are giving their students a break.”
The start date of competitive practices is pushed back a month but contest dates are also pushed back, allowing for ample preparation time.
“It does give us time to plan for the health and safety of our students, because that’s paramount above anything else,” said Tomlinson.
East Texas band directors said it’ll give their programs more time to work on their fundamentals, but they know it’ll be a change for the students.
“The thing the students really enjoy is going to football games; experiencing the outdoor activity of marching band with their friends,” said George Little, the director of bands at Lufkin ISD. “They enjoy the community aspect of it and the family aspect of it. So, the biggest change that I can see right now, as far as them experiencing those things, is that they’ll be delayed in experiencing them.”
The band directors said they’re glad the UIL is keeping students’ safety in mind and they’ll continue to do so at their respective schools.
The UIL increased the amount of time students can practice band fundamentals during the summer, from 10 to 20 hours a week. That’s to help make up for time lost last spring.