Peet band making adjustments to performing safely during COVID

Peet freshman Kate Galyen has played in band for five years and has had a percussion career for seven years, but this year she is rolling with a new twist: COVID.

Being a percussionist, the COVID protocols haven’t affected Galyen as drastically as other band members. While other band members have special band masks and bell covers on their instruments, she just has her regular mask and her own sticks.

Ninth grade band has been split up into two different groups on the A and B day schedule. “It’s me and two other boys in my percussion section, and then in the other percussion section there are three other students in that section, and so my band is just flutes and trumpets, and then we have one tuba in our band, and the other band is split up so that it is all the low brass and reed instruments the trombones, clarinets and saxophones.” Galyen said. 

Each band plays in the band room just on opposite days. All members of band besides percussionists have to wear band masks, which are regular masks with a slit in the middle and on the front another piece of fabric sewed on that goes over the slit. So when they play they line up the fabric piece and put their mouths on the instrument through the slit, and then when they’re not playing, the fabric goes over the slit. 

Something else that had to change was spit valves; instead of being able to empty spit out onto the floor really quickly, those instruments (trombones, trumpets) have to go out the outside door in the band room to empty their spit valves. 

Kate’s father Danny Galyen is the director of bands at UNI, so band has been very prevalent throughout her whole life. “I really love band a lot. I love practicing and just playing percussion. I’m actually auditioning for All State this year, which is really exciting for a freshman. It’s the first year you’re able to try out. If it would be a quote-unquote normal year, we would normally walk into a room with a bunch of judges and all of our instruments, but this year because of COVID-19, we’re having to send in video auditions split up of different segments with like the different attitudes and like other requirements that you have to meet for the audition,” Galyen said

Being as invested as she is to something she loves so much, Galyen said she hopes to continue playing percussion throughout high school and maybe even further.

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