SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Leading up to what will be their only performance of the Fall 2020 semester, the Missouri State University Pride Band and the Sugar Bears dance squad decided to make some changes.
Both Dr. Brad Snow, MSU Director of Athletic Bands, and Sugar Bears Dance Coach Emily Dryden say their performers will space out as much as possible and will remain masked unless performing.
“Our team members have to be able to be adaptable and just ready to roll with the punches,” said Dryden.
That adaptability, Dryden says, has been called for a few times, like when the band and dance crew were asked to cut their performance schedule down to just one show this year and when they were told they’d need to learn their routines inside-and-out in case they were asked to fill a medical-related absence.
“If anyone has had to sit out or be out or go through the process of being cleared to return to play, we just roll with it. That might mean formations have to change. It might mean girls learn different parts for a dance at the last minute. And that’s really the biggest challenge for us.”
And it isn’t just the Sugar Bears that are seeing changes in their performance plans and practices. The band is having to be flexible too.
“How do you do a marching band wearing masks? Our students were wanting to do it so badly that they were willing to do what we asked of them,” Dr. Brad Snow, MSU Director of Athletic Bands, told Ozarks First Reporter Melanie Chapman.
But what about breath-powered instruments like brass and woodwinds? Well, don’t worry. Performance organizers thought of that too.
“We purchased instrument covers for all of our instruments,” Snow explained. “There have been a ton of studies done throughout the last 7-months and it basically cuts the production of aerosol to zero.”
Both the band and dance squad will perform during the MSU Homecoming game on Saturday, October 17th.