COVID alters Mark Twain marching band season

Members of the Mark Twain Marching Band prepare for practice last week. Event cancellations earlier this year have made band members more focused on quality performances.
Special for The Courier-Post
Posted: Sep. 9, 2020 9:44 am Updated: Sep. 9, 2020 1:26 pm

HANNIBAL | Due to the COVID- 19 virus the Mark Twain High School marching band will compete in fewer competitions during 2020, but the band is determined to march on.

“COVID has had a huge impact. We're doing less,” said Doug Schaffer, Mark Twain's marching band director. “March was terrible because within the span of five minutes, we lost our indoor guard season, we lost two concert festivals, we lost the spring concert, we lost everything.”

By May, the marching band had eight events on its schedule, but that number was reduced to three performances. Among those cancelled events was the Bands of America Grand National Championships in November.

Devon Whaley, senior tuba player at Mark Twain, said, “It's disappointing but at this point it was expected.”

Schaffer said that despite these changes, the team has continued to work just as hard, often rehearsing as the sun goes down. “They're still showing up, they're still putting in the work, they're still being aggressive. Just because rehearsals are fewer and the shows are fewer, we're not folding this year in. My kids are here to work. They are great kids.”

“We're here ready to win,” said Mack Davenport, junior trumpet player at Mark Twain.

The Mark Twain High School marching band performed at a home football game in Center, Mo., on Saturday, September 5 and will perform at every home game this season.

The band also is scheduled to compete at Wright City on Saturday, September 26.


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