The press release arrived last week, hammering yet another nail into the coffin of “looked forward to” activities.
“The Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) is extremely proud of being an important contributor to the long-standing tradition of outstanding high school marching bands in Indiana, with nearly 200 schools participating in ISSMA marching band events each Fall. It is therefore with deep regret and disappointment that, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, we have found it necessary to announce that all 2020 ISSMA Live Marching Band events have been canceled.”
The release continued: “Many marching bands have started their summer practice schedules following specific guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), and state and local officials. After careful consideration of all options, and in accordance with ISSMA’s responsibility to provide a safe and respectful environment at all ISSMA events, the ISSMA Executive Committee has determined those guidelines and measures could not be effectively put in place to ensure a safe environment for students, directors, supporting personnel, adjudicators, workers, and spectators at a live marching band event. In keeping with the ISSMA mission to provide educationally evaluated music performance opportunities, a process to provide an assessment through virtual means is being explored.”
The final paragraph reads: “The ISSMA Executive Committee and the ISSMA State Board acknowledge the disappointment that will be felt by students, directors, family members and supporters of Indiana High School Marching Bands. It is our fervent hope that we will be able to return to live Marching Band events in the fall of 2021 and assist our member schools in carrying on the proud heritage of marching bands in the State of Indiana.”