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The Vandal band marches on in a unique way during the pandemic

Posted at 1:25 PM, Oct 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 11:36:46-04

MOSCOW — Like most marching bands, when the pandemic hit, the University of Idaho's band was forced to shut down because of safety concerns.

“We have 55 different majors represented in our band, and it’s a 100-year tradition it was just too important to cancel," said U of I's Director of Band Spencer Martin. "It’s a home for students. It’s a place to belong, and of all semesters and all years, we need that as students and staff more than anything.”

The band came together after football was canceled and brainstormed ideas of how they could still perform safely. In a socially distanced arrangement around the dome, the band plays Go Vandals Go using individual plastic containers of PPE storage as instruments.

“In August, we didn’t quite know the aerosols between the woodwind and brass instruments, so we said why even worry about it. We just got rid of them, and now we have masks on and we have face shields. Every student has an individual bin that has percussion instruments and safety gear and things like that," said Martin.

“I look forward to it every day. The Vandal marching band is special for a lot of reasons, and one of those is the support system that it creates for the students, and I didn’t know if we would have that coming back into the semester obviously with everything going on," said Vandal Marching Band member, Elly Yenne. "I’m happy to say that the support system is there, and we still have all the energy that we normally do."

To watch the band's performances, click here.