• Atlanta Northcutt

Pioneer Pride pushes forward with performances

By: Atlanta Northcutt -- Southern Standard

Jared Carnes, 17, displays his tree-drumming skills outside of the high school while waiting for band practice to begin.

The Pioneer Pride Marching Band is continuing to pump up the crowd by pushing forward with performances.

The Warren County Pioneer Pride Marching Band is continuing to perform during COVID, but will be making many changes in how it does so.

Jared Carnes, 17, is a senior at WCHS and band captain. Carnes is a percussionist and tenor player. He has been playing since 6th grade.

“It’s definitely strange,” says band captain Jared Carnes, 17. “We can’t go to away games due to space restrictions when traveling in the bus.”

During home games the band is allowed to perform, but members now stand under the Pioneer-shaped shrubs at the end zone.

“We can’t be in the stands because we take up too much room for people wanting to watch their kids’ games,” says Carnes. “We don’t want to take up those spots.”

The band performs at concerts and competitions across the region, but Carnes believes if the situation doesn’t change, most will either be cancelled or be streamed live online.

“As of right now, I think we have a good system going by only playing home games to prevent infecting or becoming infected by someone from another school,” says Carnes. “At this rate, I think we’ll be able to perform at home games, and if we continue to do marching shows, it sounds like we’ll still be on the field since we’re alone on the green regardless.”

Band members take several precautions in order to prevent the spread of COVID, including social distancing as much as possible and sanitizing all instruments.

“During practice, we will break into different sections in order to remain safely separated,” says Carnes. “When we get a chance, we practice outside since their isn’t enough space in a single classroom to fit us all.”

“We make sure to sanitize each instrument, especially percussion instruments since they’re more hands on,” adds Carnes. “We are currently looking into possible masks to cover the mouthpieces for those who play a wind instrument, such as a flute, trumpet or tuba.”

The Pioneer Pride Marching Band is made up of approximately 70 members from all grade levels.

“This is my senior year, and I don’t get to go to away games,” says Carnes. “I also don’t think we will be able to go to competitions, where we meet other band students from around the region. It’s a letdown being unable to enjoy those aspects of band.”

The Pioneer Pride Marching Band cheered on the Pioneers during their home game against Lawrence County on Sept. 11 where Warren County won 40-3. The next home game will be Oct. 2 against Cookeville.

“This year has definitely made us all miss and appreciate the little things we took for granted about being in the school band,” adds Carnes.

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