By Debbie Adams
There is another indication that life might be returning to normal for students in the upcoming school year—the William Byrd Marching Terriers are back!
The Byrd band rehearsed their program for the upcoming season at home camp at William Byrd High School during the week of July 19 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. (outside in the mornings, inside during the scorching heat and high humidity of the afternoons). Practice continued in the parking lot in the evenings from 6 to 9 p.m. once things had cooled off somewhat.
They have spent this week at away camp at Camp Bethel. The plan is to perform their program for their families on August 31. This year’s program is entitled “Escape of the Mind.”
The Marching Terriers are led by Dan Plybon, assisted by Denise Aspell. Keagan Vickers is the color guard coach.
Plybon told students at their Thursday night home camp practice, he was proud of their accomplishments that week, with rehearsals “as good as any” he has ever seen and heard at this point in camp. That’s despite having two new classes to learn marching routines—freshmen and sophomores—since there was no marching band for sophomores last year.
Student band officers this year are:
- Jonah Bowser, Corps Commander and Drum Major
- Johnathan Ham, Brass Captain
- Latriva Pierce, Woodwind Captain
- Tre Cossaboon, Percussion Captain
- Ema Fay, Color Guard Captain
It takes the support of band families to help all the pieces fall in place for performances and to raise funds for band activities. Band Booster officers for 2021-2022 are:
- President Suzanne Bowser
- Vice President Troy Ham
- Treasurer Heather Wray
- Secretary Amy Trogdon
- Fundraising Coordinator Erica Jones
In school year 2020-2021, there was no fall football season, no fall marching band season. Plybon described the first semester of last year as “challenging,” to say the least.
Secondary students were only attending school in person two days a week for most of the first three nine weeks; some were taking band classes virtually. When they did play, students were wearing face masks or shields, depending upon their instrument, and were socially distanced at six feet apart. Even at the time of the annual Spring concert in May, eight students were still working online.
In addition to being unable to rehearse and perform together as a group, “We really have missed having someone to perform for,” Plybon said. Hopefully this year that situation is remedied.