California allows youth band, choir, drama to resume with modifications

Now considered 'low-contact youth rec. activities'
patrick henry high school marching band.png
Posted at 11:17 PM, Mar 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 09:34:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)-- The California Department of Public Health updated Youth Recreational Activities Monday, stating that youth band, choir, and drama can resume with modifications.

"Once football started, I said, 'Ok, there's no reason instrumental music and color guard and dance couldn't also,'" Patrick Henry High School band teacher, Matthew Kalal, said.

But for some reason, the state did not give band the green light. At last Friday's home game, football players and cheerleaders were back. But not the band.

The band's drum major, Sidney Eun, has spent her senior year at home. She has not conducted her band or even worn her new uniform. But she may be able to soon.

"I would love to do something down on the field," Eun said.

Monday, the California Department of Public Health announced an update on their website, stating that band, drumline, choir, and drama are now considered low-contact youth recreational activities and can resume with modifications.

"Ok, forward movement!" Kalal said with excitement.

For the last few weeks, Kalal has held some small group practices outdoors, where everyone was spaced out and wearing specialized masks modified for wind instruments.

"The mouth is right here. The mouthpiece," Eun demonstrated with her modified mask. "And you can play as normal. It doesn't impede your playing at all."

They are hoping to put on those new uniforms, perform, and make their families proud.

"You cannot stop smiling just to see those kids playing together, and to hear the music and feel like, 'This is what high school sounds like!'" Lynda Cadiente, Eun's mother and Spirit of 76 Boosters Board President, said.

Even if it's not a beautifully choreographed, competition-ready piece, they want to play. Perhaps just the national anthem or one fight song in between plays, so they can return to being the soundtrack of Patrick Henry High School.

"I would just love if we can get that last football game, be conducting in the stands with my band, with my drumline," Eun said. "It's been something I've been looking forward to obviously for three years now."

The band will continue to practice while wearing masks and keeping distance. They must follow similar testing protocols as the athletes. They hope to have a performance ready by mid-April or sooner.