UIL extracurricular guidelines impacting Abilene ISD marching band

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Abilene, Texas (KTAB/KRBC)- Summer is a crucial time for marching band members. It is when they perfect marching skills, music, shows, and performances for Friday night football games, but these summer workouts will look a little different.

“Being able to safely be together with everyone, it’s a big deal,” said Abilene High School student Brooke Garduno.

According to the University Interscholastic League, this summer members of the Abilene ISD marching band will have to follow strict social distancing guidelines, answer daily health questionnaires, do temperature checks upon arrival, and much more. If students don’t feel safe, they can opt-out at any time.

“We can rehearse in groups of 15 outside, and with that, they have to be spaced out appropriately and each group of 15 has to have an adult,” said Abilene ISD Executive Director of Fine Arts Jay Lester.

Based on where the practices are held, there are different regulations whether they’re inside or outside.

“One of the unique challenges we have this summer is that many of our facilities are under construction and renovations, so we were planning on having most of our events and activities outside anyway, so we’re going to follow through with mostly outdoors,” said Lester.

The marching band is not the only extracurricular activity impacted by these new regulations.

“Things like agriculture, and ROTC, cheerleading, choir sometimes meets early, none of them can meet early this summer,” said Lester.

After finishing the school year online, one Abilene High School student says she’s excited to come back to school but understands the importance of the safety protocols in place.

“I just think that everyone has to follow the rules, and everybody’s tried really hard to make this a safe environment to make this a safe environment and a safe way to come back, and it’s just going to be really positive when we get to come back with the directors and the rest of our band members and just start playing again,” said Garduno.

The Abilene ISD marching band is expected to start summer practicing on July 19th.

You can find the full list of UIL regulations here.

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