By KRISTEN HILL, Contributor
The Vandegrift marching band and the Vision Dance Company is “Stronger Together” as the program continues defining the standard during this unprecedented season with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Students are back on the practice field learning drills and music for the 2020 marching show. Many accommodations have been made to ensure student safety, such as spacing 6-8 feet apart, adding instrument bell covers, and face masks for all band personnel.
“I am really proud of the ability of our students to create a positive atmosphere in such a difficult situation,” said Mike Howard, Vandegrift director of bands. “The ability for all of us to be together after school has provided all of the students and staff a much needed sense of normalcy.”
Band directors work hard to make marching season meaningful and a time of growth while pursuing excellence. The total number of students in the program this year is 387, of which 58 are 100% virtual.
All Leander ISD bands, including VHS, will not travel to competitions this marching season.
The first time the Grand National Champions will return to their home field to perform their new marching show is scheduled to be Oct. 23 against McNeil since the game vs Stony Point was cancelled on Oct. 9.
This season, the Viper band will perform at varsity football home games. For select away games, a smaller group of pep band students will perform in the stands. For home games, the band will play in the stands during the game as usual, and will perform a modified, shorter halftime show that meets requirements for today’s social distancing regulations.
This year’s Viper halftime show features music from Chick Corea, arranged by Andrew Markworth.
The annual Community Night performance will be on Friday, Nov. 6 at Monroe Stadium.
Howard is looking forward to the opportunity to perform: “The Viper Band and Vision Dance Company has become woven into the fabric of this community.”
The annual fan-favorite March-a-Thon fundraiser is being conducted virtually since the parade through Steiner Ranch was not possible. The band produced a special video performance that includes hundreds of students playing all the Viper band hits. Go to vhsband.com to the “fundraising” tab to watch the video and to donate.