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Cornhusker Marching Band is persevering through pandemic

Cornhusker Marching Band is persevering through pandemic

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LINCOLN – Through quick adjustments made by faculty leaders in the spring and summer, the band is rehearsing daily and preparing for a performance series this fall, as well as a stand-still version of its pregame show to be recorded and made available online. The band has also recorded performances for the “Second Screen” virtual game day experience offered by Nebraska Athletics and HuskerVision. Learn more.

This year, auditions took place via video submissions, and the annual camp was replaced with a virtual program that ran through the summer. During that time, student leaders connected with and guided bandmates via Zoom and other videoconferencing platforms.

Faculty leaders have instituted health-related protocols — doubling spacing between band members on the field, requiring the use of cloth covers on all wind instruments and facial coverings where possible, rehearsing with no more than two-thirds of the band in Cook Pavilion at one time, and making sure hand sanitizer is available.

Along with following all federal, state and local health protocols, the band is adjusting procedures based on findings in targeted studies being conducted at the University of Colorado, University of Maryland and Colorado State University.

“The studies are looking specifically at how the virus is spread in the performing arts,” said Tony Falcone, associate director of bands in the Glenn Korff School of Music and director of the Cornhusker Marching Band. “As findings are released from those studies, we adapt our protocols.

“We’re doing everything we can to protect our students, faculty and staff from this virus.”

A third of the Cornhusker Marching Band plays during an early-morning practice in Cook Pavilion. As part of its COVID-19 health protocols, the band limits the number of students participating in practice to a maximum of two-thirds of total members. They have also doubled the distance between each musician and are either wearing masks or have the bells of wind instruments covered with cloth.

A third of the Cornhusker Marching Band plays during an early-morning practice in Cook Pavilion. As part of its COVID-19 health protocols, the band limits the number of students participating in practice to a maximum of two-thirds of total members. They have also doubled the distance between each musician and are either wearing masks or have the bells of wind instruments covered with cloth.

This year’s band includes representatives from nearly every region of the country; though, 75% of the students are from Nebraska. Twenty-two percent of the students are music or music education majors. The rest are studying in more than 60 other degree programs across campus. Each band member passed an audition to gain admittance to the group.

The drum majors for the 2020 marching band are seniors Jacob Coughlin of Omaha, Sarah Ernst of Columbus, Sydney McGahan of North Platte and Molly Olander of Burnsville, Minnesota. The twirlers are sophomore Carrigan Hurst of Little Chute, Wisconsin, and senior Kimberly Law of La Quinta, California.

Douglas W. Bush is the assistant director of bands and assistant marching band director. Carolyn Barber, Ron and Carol Cope Professor of Music, is director of bands. Other band staff members are graduate assistants Josh Cutting, Matt Smoot and Scott Walker. Bastian Wood is the percussion instructor, and Samantha Brown is the color guard instructor. Rose Johnson is the administrative technician, Jan Deaton is the office associate, and Nolan Schmit is the “voice” of the band.

Area band members include Hailey Anderson, alto saxophone, freshman, physics; Katie Pace, trumpet, junior, environmental restoration science and Katie Lilly, piccolo, sophomore, elementary education and special education (K-6) all of Cedar Bluffs

Nicholas Fuller, trumpet, freshman, mechanical engineering, of Wahoo, is also a member, along with Lara Celesky, trumpet, sophomore, music education and Matt Jackson, trumpet, junior, music education, both of Ceresco

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