Marching band pushes through COVID restrictions

Daria Stapolsky, Staff Writer

The pandemic has taken a larger toll on marching band this school year than it did  last. Because of the current situation with Covid-19, several members from the band were not able to partake in the activity.  Because of this, the group decreased in size compared to previous years. 

 “Being out of school a whole year last year and coming in small groups. Just the whole way that everything went it affected every program in our school,” Moanalua High School Music Department Director  Elden Seta said. Moanalua Highschool marching band director. “It’s almost like starting all over again.” 

Seta continued to explain that this year is all about rebuilding and taking on new challenges. This includes musicality, marching technique, overall belonging, and expectations. Especially current upperclassmen, who were only sophomores and freshmen when the pandemic began, are taking on new roles as leaders.

Wearing masks in hot weather has been a bit of a struggle. However, marching band is particularly careful with safety procedures and does whatever they can to keep safe. Even in 90 degree weather, students keep their masks on and continue practicing, without a single word of complaint. Seta explains that it’s a hard thing to do in this current weather but the students love what they’re doing so they persist through the heat.

Even with all that is happening, marching band is stronger than ever and is working hard towards a performance they will be giving later this fall. Seta reveals that this year’s theme has a special meaning behind it. 

 “The show is Disney this year. We chose that because we said that there’s way too much sadness in the world. We said that there is too much empathize on negativity and empathize on what’s wrong and what we can’t do.” Said Seta “We decided that Disney was perfect this year because it spreads happiness.”

The students of marching band are not only practicing but are also learning how to grow as human beings. Seta’s goal for his students is to learn how to become better people, especially once they enter the professional world.

“They come out of this as the best marcher or best musician, that’s not the life-changer,” Seta said. “The life-changer is going to be what they learned from it, what they gained from it, and what they’re going to take with it to apply in every single thing that they do.”

He also emphasized the importance of discovering the inner soul as a musician.

 “Whether you’re in marching band, choir, orchestra, sitting at the piano, developing the inner soul–which I think that most people don’t show–is important,” Seta said.  “Everyone tries to deal with the outside, but it’s like this if your house is a big mess inside you can give it a paint job but it’s still a mess. It’ll never change. It won’t cover it.”

The pandemic may have created a few hiccups and obstacles, but marching band continues to persevere and work hard towards creating music that connects people together.

“We are really grateful for the opportunity we get, ” said Seta. “To be able to spread the message through our music and I think that it’s important for everybody to know that their friends are working really really hard to represent them at Moanalua.”