Publisher’s Letter

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Publisher's newsletter for September / October 2020.

We have all had a rough six months. Although many aspects of our lives have been turned upside down due to COVID-19, we began a slow return to normal this fall season. Kids went back to school though some—including mine—are learning virtually. I personally started eating at restaurants, al fresco style, and am seeing friends socially, at six feet apart.

I am especially heartened to know that fall marching band didn’t suffer a complete washout. I have enjoyed being on the board of my son’s band and orchestra boosters at Sycamore Community Schools in Cincinnati, Ohio. I volunteered at band camp in August as a first aider and helped serve popsicles at the end of rehearsals. Though I was paranoid that I would somehow spread illness to all of the members, I didn’t. And the band marched on.

The staff and students have stayed healthy, persevered, and performed. I loved seeing and hearing them on the field at football games. It felt nearly normal with the same camaraderie, school spirit, and pride. I will be forever thankful for the staff and educators who have made the season possible.

Like Sycamore, many high school and college bands have been able to continue with a modified marching season using creativity and safety guidelines. In this issue, we showcase how top high school ensembles are “Marching Through a Pandemic”  in part one of our two-part series. Next issue, we will feature college bands and the various ups and downs that they are navigating during these uncertain months.

Several aerosol studies are “Making Music Classrooms Safer Against COVID-19”. We take a look at the major findings and recommendations, including instrument covers and air change rates.

The West Point Band led the charge for a safe return to live music. With its own Music Research Center, the group quickly implemented strategies back in June to safely perform at graduation and other Army ceremonies.

The “Mental Benefits of Marching Band” can lift our spirits. We hope that you will be uplifted by these articles as well.

Musically Yours,
Christine Ngeo Katzman
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief

About the author

Christine Ngeo Katzman

Christine Ngeo Katzman has played the flute since the age of 8. She marched in the Northwestern University Marching Band, including the 1996 Rose Bowl and 1997 Citrus Bowl. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern with a bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1997. Since then, she has worked in the publishing industry as a writer and editor and helped launch Play Music, a magazine for recreational musicians, sponsored by American Music Group (now Music and Arts Center). In the summer of 2006, Christine worked at Yamaha where she interacted with staff and students in various marching bands and drum corps. Christine earned her MBA with honors from the University of Southern California in May 2007.

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