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Titan Marching Band virtually broadcasts performances amidst COVID-19

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Titan Marching Band homecoming performance

Senior field commander Kyle Youmans conducts band during live homecoming broadcast

In early February, marching and symphonic band director Dr. R. Tad Greig disclosed that the Titan Marching Band would not perform their halftime show during the football team's upcoming home games in March. This decision was finalized due to public health concerns and a lack of certainty regarding the future of COVID-19. However, the organization—that fully intends to resume halftime performances next fall—has already made their socially distant show readily available for public viewing via a recording that was broadcasted to the Titan community.

Dr. Greig elaborated on the decision, stating that it was a challenging one.

"The marching band [looks] forward to performing and supporting the Titan football team," Greig said. "There were [several] obstacles that made an early March return to outdoor rehearsals and performances an impossibility for the spring. We look forward to [returning] to the field in the fall!"

President Richardson demonstrated her support, stating that if normal operations resume by next fall, "we'll look forward to seeing the band then... It's always a delight to hear [them], but I certainly understand the challenges of trying to do something in an unusual semester."

The scenario prompted reactions from the football team and marching band alike. Senior wide receiver Ian Valente was willing to speak on the team's appreciation of the band's presence during gameday. Valente said, "The football team loves hearing the marching band at our games. There's nothing like walking out on the [field] and hearing the band."

"One of the best [aspects of] our team is the game day environment," said head football coach Scott Benzel. "And the band has a [significant] impact on that."

Members of the Titan Marching Band were pleased to provide their reactions to the announcement as well.

"The marching band's absence is "a little bit of a heartbreak, I knew not to be shocked," said senior field commander Kyle Youmans. "Life has changed so much…so nothing shocks me anymore. Things will be different for the Titan Marching Band this coming fall, and that they can continue to function at their best ability…I give them my best wishes."

Though the marching season did not resume as many had anticipated, the scenario has not assumed any negativity upon the band's members.

"I was not sad about it," explained senior saxophonist Abby Grabigel. "The Titan band still continues to make music. I was still so happy to [play] for virtual homecoming [and] the. annual Shenango on the Green outdoor performance…the band made the best experience [that] they could out of our limited performing ability, and everyone worked just as hard as they would have in a normal season."

Though no longer performing during halftime this season, the Titan Marching Band still intends to broadcast their color guard and dance line features for public entertainment.

Watch the Titan Marching Band perform during the 2020 Homecoming Festivities at Westminster College

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