I hope that you’re looking forward to getting things started next week. I wanted to take a few minutes and hopefully answer some frequently asked questions, so please excuse the bullet point nature of this email. Here goes!
Q: I saw online that athletic teams are able to resume activity as long as they can do so safely and with minimal contact. Why haven’t we started back in person yet since we get PE credit and don’t have contact with one another in our activity?
A: While we have received guidance on a national level and have received information based on the Colorado and University of Maryland Aerosol studies about how we can return to activity safely, the information being handed down by the state of California only specifically mentions “sports.” We are waiting for further guidance at our local level.
Q: What happens when/if we get that clearance to meet in person?
A: We would meet in cohorts (groups) during our currently scheduled sectional times: Guard and Percussion on Mondays, and Winds on Thursday. A plan as to how to do this safely has already been approved by the district health and safety folks, and will be sent out once we are ready to cross that bridge.
Q: Registration is coming up and we usually have band registration the following week. What’s going on with that?
A: We are waiting until we are allowed to meet in person to collect some forms, but physicals and proof of insurance are still needed to be uploaded directly to Family ID. Our EEU Volunteer Form can be filled out online by clicking here
Q: Will we have to pay a transportation fee?
A: No. Even for football games, since we are not wearing uniforms at all this year, we are going to ask students to be dropped off at the stadium by their parents. We would take buses to concert band festival (covered by district) and graduation (covered by district, I think), and to the Vegas and Reno jazz festivals, but we pay for those separately.
Q: What’s happening with our performance donations, and if we aren’t in physical school, why do we have them?
A: Our goal is to provide the closest thing possible to the program that you have come to know and expect out of the EEU for the past 14 years that we’ve been here together. Your donations will allow us to continue to keep staff members (at reduced rates and schedules), schedule clinics and masterclasses (online and eventually in-person), purchase new music, pay for standard instrument repairs, provide field show t-shirts, licensing fees, registration fees, event entry fees (even events that are typically held in March and April require entry fees in October/November), administrative fees (tax preparation, etc.), and a host of other things. A restructured donations page is attached to this email, which includes how to pay your fair share donation.
Q: What’s happening with our Washington, D.C. trip?
A: Right now, it’s on. I expect that picture to become clearer in the next 6 weeks. We have been assured by our travel company, that if we needed to cancel due to COVID, we would receive full refunds less any deposits that they had paid on our behalf. I’ll also be seeking guidance from our site and district administrators to feel out the next steps
Q: What are we going to do while we’re online?!?
A: We have masterclasses lined up with current staff and will be bringing in other professionals from the music and dance worlds to meet with us virtually (a silver lining to this whole mess, is the availability of professionals that are usually unavailable due to their busy performance schedules). We are going to do a production video of this year’s field show, Vlad, with everyone. Every ensemble will be creating 3 fully produced performance videos. We’ll be learning how to design drill and choreograph as part of our “Thursdays with Tass” during zero periods. You’ll be getting experience learning to work and record like studio musicians and dancers. And a lot more.
Q: Are the first few times we meet going to be rough?
YOU. BETTER. BELIEVE. IT. BUT!, we’re committed to being great and learning every day.
I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday on Zoom. You’ll need your music and your equipment and please be punctual. In closing: Those of you that know me, know that I don’t make promises I can’t keep, so I’ll make you the same promise that I make every year at camp. I’m not going to promise you that it’s going to be fun, but I do promise that you’ll get out of this experience exactly what you put into it. Please let me know if you have any questions.