Greetings Band Families,
I am writing to all of you today with a heavy heart. Our primary responsibility as educators is to make sure your students are safe and healthy while in our care. To that end, in consultation with our school and district administration, we have decided to cancel the trip to Prescott for Band Camp (scheduled for the week of July 27th). Unfortunately, we don’t have enough information in regards to how the COVID-19 pandemic will play out in the weeks and months ahead, and we don’t want to make a decision that would jeopardize the health of students, parent volunteers, and staff. We are also very cognizant of families that are out of work right now, and we want to reduce financial burdens so that students can still participate in the Jaguar Pride Marching Band.
Our plan is to assume school will start “in person” on August 3rd as normal. We plan to move our Band Camp to an “in-town” camp at Boulder Creek on the week of July 20th and the week of July 27th. The two weeks before school starting will be used for music and marching rehearsals to prepare us for the season. Because we don’t yet know the direction of the state or district in regards to social distancing, class sizes, online schooling, and other factors – we will wait on scheduling specific times for Band Camp. We’d ask for you to plan for your student to be available these two weeks, and we will plan more specific times for rehearsals/activities as we get closer to July 20th.
We’ve been speaking with our new student leaders in the Band Council about the importance of being flexible and working to accept the things we can’t change. We can’t change how the COVID-19 virus will progress in our state, but we can work to make sure we are prepared with multiple plans for multiple scenarios. We aren’t in control of the pandemic, but we ARE in control of our response to it. The Band Staff is committed to providing a great marching band experience for our students and we are developing an online curriculum to replace our usual summer training in the months of June and July so we are ready to march, play, dance, spin, and perform a show! We will begin online instruction during the month of June – we will send more information on this separately.
With Marching Band, we are only as strong as our weakest member. Therefore, all online summer instruction will be MANDATORY and all members will participate fully, and complete all assignments ON TIME so the staff and section leaders can provide feedback. It’s all or nothing, and your leaders will ensure that it is all.
Taking out the Band Camp lodging costs, the total Marching Band Fees will be reduced to $400 per student for the 2020 season. (originally $600 – this was an anticipated increase for the upcoming year.) This would cover our show registration fees, t-shirt, staff instruction, and transportation to local shows. There will be other incidentals that will be charged separately if needed (marching shoes, gloves, flip folders, etc.).
As we are currently finishing up this current school year, we ask that you do not attempt to pay your 2020/21 Fair Share Fees online at this time. We need some extra time to finish balancing out the account ledgers here on campus before we start accepting payments for next year’s fees.
We hope you are all doing well and we can’t wait to start working on our show together! Although we are physically apart, your band family will support you and be there for you!
James O’Halloran, Director of Bands