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Forward March: 2020 to Mark Inaugural Year for Merrimack Marching Band

Alex Conte

Staff Writer

Band ten hut! The Merrimack Visual and Performing Arts Department is set to launch their first ever marching band for the upcoming sports season pending approval from the Northeast Conference. 

 Practice has already begun with Thursday night rehearsals in the Rogers Center. They will be playing tunes for the Merrimack community and will be cheering on and playing music for the Warriors at their home football games. At halftime they will enter the field and perform a halftime show. During the game they will be playing songs from the stands. When it’s not football season, they will be playing at the hockey and basketball games. 

“We always want to be providing the public with positive music experiences,” said Paul Geresy, Director of Bands in a video made by a former Communication & Media student. “We’re lucky that we get to serve our community with music.”

The musicians who are members of this band will experience something that none of them have ever experienced. Because of Covid-19 and as a safety precaution, they will have to wear musician masks and bell covers while playing their instruments. But this is done so that the band can safely perform. 

“It is probably the most visible of all of the ensembles on campus,” Laura Pruett, who is an Associate Professor of Music, said in the video. “I see it as a cornerstone of the music program the Performing Arts Department because of its prominence on campus and its ability to connect our department to the community as a whole.”

During a normal year, the band would report a week earlier than the rest of the student body. However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, marching band activities were postponed. Instead of meeting in person before school started, the bands hosted meet and greet sessions on Zoom  to build camaraderie and to allow new members to get accustomed. But band kids are used to taking conflicts and working to make sure they get solved.

“We have to lean on each other a lot,” said Geresy in the video. “We have to lean on our culture, we have to lean on ourselves as musicians… that is all part of the vision.”

It may be sooner than later that the Merrimack community sees (or hears) the Marching Band on campus, raising people’s spirits and bringing people together (in a safe way) during a time like this.