COLUMBUS (WCMH)–At Grove City High School, more than 230 students spend much of their summer practicing their instruments and marching technique. At Johnstown High School, a large percentage of the school population is in the marching band.

At schools big and small, they share the same worry: a season without a performance.

“There’s no guarantee of any performance this season, at all,” said Grove City Band Director Jason Graham.

Both schools have gone to elaborate lengths to keep students socially distanced, from working in small groups to wearing masks. They have developed their practice plans with school and district administrators and put in more time this summer than any summer before to have a chance to perform.

Marching bands are hoping to be included in football game planning should schools allow to have fans in stadiums this fall. Most competitions have already been canceled for this fall, and schools planning trips to bowl games or high-profile parades have already canceled those plans. Of course, many schools have moved to a virtual format for the start of the school year which limits the chance for in-person practices.

At Dublin Coffman, Band Director Jeremy Bradstreet has developed an online tool called He and his peers developed the platform to allow students to learn virtually from expert teachers.

He says that innovation was sparked by the realization that in-person school may not happen in 2020-2021, and his students deserved a chance to refine their skills.

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