I doubt there has ever in the 95 years of the band’s existence been a fall season quite like the one just concluded! After the Covid-19 virus abruptly shut down the band’s Spring 2020 season last March the question coming into the start of the new season in September was whether there would even be a new season.
I’m happy and proud to say that, because of the determination of our players, the planning ability of our band board, and the unwavering support of our divisional leaders, the band was able to continue its uninterrupted record of ministry and service in spite of the virus and all the restrictions on rehearsing and performing.
If you want proof take a look at our News column detailing all the events the band was part of in the last few months. Add to this that we were able to safely rehearse on Monday nights as we always have. In fact, to date not one member of the band has contracted the virus. (It’s obvious to me that the Lord honored our commitment and protected us)
Making the fall season happen meant adopting new procedures and learning new skills. First was complying with a long list of virus protocols designed to keep every as safe as possible. We took temperatures on our way into rehearsals, wore masks except when playing, maintained social distance, wiped down surfaces, used “personal spit towels”, and self-quarantined when necessary, among many other safety measures.
Next was learning to rehearse and perform “socially distanced”, with six feet between every player on all sides, so that band setup measured 60 x 40 feet. To make this setup possible our rehearsals were moved from DHQ to the fellowship hall (a converted gym) of the Alexandria, VA Corps, which became our home away from home for not just rehearsals but some of our performances as well. Our performances had to be outdoors or in very large indoor spaces like a hotel ballroom or the fellowship hall.
But it was all worth it to be able to minister in the Lord’s name through music, not just in the local area and in our division, but to thousands around the world through social media.
As we begin the second half of the season there are again questions about whether we can continue in the wake of the spike in virus cases and tighter restrictions. We’re trusting that if the Lord wants us to continue He will make a way, and protect us as He always has before.
We hope we have ministered to you in some way in these last few months, and will do so again in the coming months.
God Bless You,