Reconstructing school band due to the pandemic

November 4, 2021


Connor Terzian

A member of the school band demonstrates his percussion skills at a recent “Mr. O. Show”. That’s a monthly show where students display their unique talents.

In March of 2020, the whole world shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Schools moved to remote learning and extracurriculars, such as band at Patrick M. Villano School, weren’t offered to students. However, the 2021-22 school year brought students back to school full time and in-person. It’s also brought a new way for students to participate in band. Band members and Mr. Andre Baruch, the band director, are working to get used to the new format.

“We have the instrument masks, the bell covers, the seats are spaced out by three feet, and all the windows are open,” Baruch stated.

Baruch explained there are different kinds of masks and bell covers for different kinds of instruments. The masks and covers help stop the spread of germs while students are playing their instruments.

“It is cool because we get to find out how to play our instruments with our mask on,” Parker Pratt said.

Pratt is a fifth grader at Patrick M. Villano Elementary school who participates in the band program. Pratt liked the band program’s virtual lessons during the pandemic last school year, but she enjoys playing her instrument in school with a mask on even more. The same is true for Nate Piccinich, a fourth grader at Patrick M. Villano Elementary school, who also participates in the band program.

“I like Mr. Baruch because he is really nice, and I like when he compliments us on when we are improving on our instrument,” Piccinich explained. “I also like that I get to perform for people, so they can hear how talented I am.”

This is Piccinich’s first year in band. Piccinich said loves playing his instrument for his family and friends. So far, it seems that most band students enjoy the new format, find it fun to play their instrument, and like to figure out new ways to play their instruments during the pandemic.

Baruch said there are a lot of new students in the beginner band this year. He needed to create two sections of band to accommodate all the interest.

“I am so excited to see everyone make progress throughout the year, playing in person, and playing in concerts,” Baruch added.

Students in grades four through six can play instruments in the band program if they choose so.


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