Dear Athens Drive band families,
This will undoubtedly be the first of many regular messages from me over the next several weeks, and perhaps even months. In this letter I want to provide a bit of perspective that will hopefully ease your concerns. Like everyone else on this planet, we are dealing with an unprecedented situation, so our most important tools are human instinct and common sense. As this situation is evolving daily, we need to be as flexible and understanding as possible. It’s going to be different and we’re likely going to have to let go of some traditions and focus on “what’s important now.” (WIN)
What’s important now is YOU…your health, your attitude, and your family. Please know that you are LOVED by me—and by our entire band family! We are here for each and every one of you. If you need anything, have any questions, you can contact me at the email/cell-phone above. I will try to respond as soon as possible. I fully anticipate that we will recover from this episode; however, no one knows when. In the meantime, I’m here for you!
Secondly, I have not heard anything with respect to how school is going to progress beginning March 30th. We are on a “teacher workday” period up until that time and have been instructed by our principal not to assign any core material. This stated, I want you to know that if we can continue with some form of school after April 30th, you will receive credit for any music-making (practicing), music reading (including watching you tube concerts), skype lessons with teachers, etc. I will provide ideas and resources; however, my intention will be to allow you to customize your enjoyment of music. If you need to pick up an instrument and/or music from school, we will make that happen (after March 30). I readily admit that I am NOT an expert in music technology…and even if I was, I doubt whether everyone has the resources to make some kind of “virtual band” work. I would rather put my energies in providing resources for you and responding to questions, etc. There is much that can be done in our discipline without relying on technology…in fact, that is one of our strengths! Please remember MAKING MUSIC is what we do!!!
Thirdly, I want you to know that we have formally cancelled the Washington D.C. trip and have been told that the travel company will refund most (if not all) of our fees paid. We will then refund this money back to you. Please know that we will be vigilant about this. As for refunds connected with class bands, winter guard, and winter percussion, the short answer is “we don’t know.” We’ve got to determine what we are going to do about school for the next 2 months, the health of our finances, what we expect to pay for the summer, etc. I promise that we will be very honest and will strive to be as equitable as possible. Please contact me if you have any specific concerns.
Fourthly, I have no idea what is going to happen about the summer or even marching band next year. I’m going to think positive and continue to plan for our best marching season ever. Our music writer is currently writing our show and we will continue to recruit new members. We’ll need some time to determine how to do section leader/captain/drum major auditions—that’s for later. Just know that we are committed to moving forward!
In the meantime, stay healthy in body, mind and spirit. Remember the lessons of the Desiderata, namely “Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.” It may be difficult to state that “it’s all good” or “ya gotta luv it” during this time…but I think we can all count our blessings and come out way ahead.
It’s going to be one heck of a special reunion when we all get to play together again!!!