LSU Tiger Band to hold first in-person outdoor practice Tuesday
BATON ROUGE – After weeks of meeting and performing together over the internet, the LSU Tiger Band will hold its first in-person practice on Tuesday.
This first practice of the 2020-2021 school year will be scaled back compared to years past.
“Only certain sections are going to come in tomorrow. Some will come in on Wednesday and so on from there,” LSU Band Director Kelvin Jones said.
The final lineup was chosen last Friday, Aug. 28, and consists of 325 members. That process, including auditions and a pre-season camp, was mainly virtual.
“We were going to do some in-person things last week, with the first week of classes, but with the hurricane scare that kind of shifted,” Jones said.
The marching band will not be able to perform as often in the upcoming year. The SEC restricted band members from playing on the field at home football games and they won’t be traveling to any away games. Fifty percent of the band is allowed in the stands at home games, though.
“Of that 325, we're just going to split it in half. Tiger Band Purple will go to one [home] game, Tiger Band Gold will go to the other [home] game. So we'll divvy it up from there,” Jones said.
Before then, the marching band needs to perfect those famous four notes at practice. The outdoor practice will have safety protocols put in place.
“We’ll have different water breaks at different times. We'll have different times students can get their instruments from storage,” Jones said.
Masks will be worn at times when instruments are not being played.
“We have a procedure where you put your horns at set, you take your mask off, arms up, play, arms down, masks on and instruments down,” Jones said.
And for some instruments, strict sanitation procedures are already in place.
“The instruments will have bell covers, they'll be double layered with MERV filters to help out with any disbursements of aerosols while they are performing,” Jones said. “Piccolo players won't be able to have that so they'll actually have a shield that you place on the front of the instrument so any air you push forward actually bounces away from the person in front of you.”
It may look different, but the sound will be the same and so will the response from fans and teams ready to get pumped up for big games.
“I need some music for my soul just to get things going, and I'm fairly certain students feel the same way too,” Jones said.
The first LSU home football game is scheduled for September 26.
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