In-person rehearsals recommence

As Los Angeles County transitions into the orange tier and COVID restrictions loosen, Diamond Bar High School students from Performing Arts Academy, marching band and drumline are back on campus for rehearsals.
Students who play string instruments in the Performing Arts Academy are allowed to attend rehearsals every Thursday from 2 to 6 p.m. by the foreign language building, given that they follow the regular school health guidelines and wear masks the whole time. The woodwind players are not allowed to play indoors and are still awaiting permission to attend in person rehearsals. In addition, rooms and equipment are sanitized between events.
During regular online rehearsals, band directors Marie Santos and Steve Acciani allow only one person to play unmuted, while everyone else follows their lead, to avoid any lagging or audio issues.
“This gives the feel of playing together even though they are playing at different times,” Santos said via email. “We also spend more time in small groups, which allows more autonomy, more chance to connect with each other and better opportunity for everyone to play.”
While marching band students held all of their rehearsals online during the first semester, there was an in-person rehearsal held the day before Branding Iron to refresh the music. The rehearsal was offered to the senior majority with several underclassmen attending and the students played Pep Tunes during the game on April 16.
“Since [Branding Iron] was also my last high school football game, it was a really bittersweet feeling knowing that I’ll never be able to experience games like that again,” senior Lawrence Wu said. “I was reminded to look around and really appreciate the friends and teachers around me, and the remaining time I have left of school to spend with them.”
Drumline has been rehearsing after school once a week to stay prepared for next school year. These practices have taken place every Thursday since February on the track or in the amphitheatre, to accommodate social distancing for the large group.
Drumline students recently added an extra hour and a half to rehearsal and are considering filming or live streaming their performances on Youtube.
“We were definitely rusty, but I think our coach was just happy that he could actually hear us as opposed to Zoom,” junior Hannah Geere said.
As of now, the Performing Arts Academy is preparing for their next virtual concerto and marching band and drumline are getting ready for the end-of-the-year performance and events to bring the members together before summer begins.