Arynn Williams, Correspondent
There are a lot of uncertainties this semester due to COVID-19. Everything from classes to campus sponsored events must be ready to change at a moment’s notice. By now, most students are aware of the changes in their classrooms: use of masks and social distancing are now mandated to keep students and their families safe. How have non-classroom activities changed, though?
Kenneth Bodiford, director of the Marching Southerners, explained that his plan revolves around social distancing and splitting the band into three smaller bands—what he calls “the Southerners to the power of three”. These three bands will operate as separate entities, each rehearsing and performing independent from one another.
While this plan is definitely new and may take some adjusting, Bodiford promises the Southerners will still be very enjoyable to watch.
The separation of the Southerners into three groups is not the only change that students will see come football season. Members of the band will not be wearing their uniforms—or, at least, not the uniforms you’re used to seeing them in. Instead, expect a similarly cohesive style that will be safer to implement during the pandemic. These uniforms include masks, too, of course.
The Southerners will also not be where you’re used to seeing them. Due to a new ruling from the Ohio Valley Conference, marching bands may not enter the field during a game. Band members will instead play in the stands.
Each of the three bands will play in a different location in the stands. They won’t all be playing the exact routine either; just as the members have been split into different groups, all music has been assigned individually as well.
Band members are still happy to be playing this season, but are understandably a little disappointed by all the changes.
Sadie Jacobs, member of the Southerners and a , said that while “playing in the stands is super fun,” they are sad about the OVC ruling since “marching on the field is why [they] do marching band.”
While social distancing and various safety procedures will be required, the Southerners are ready and excited to perform for their fans this football just as they have at every game in the past. They might look a bit different than the band you’re used to, but a pandemic can’t stop their talent from shining through.