High school musicians are excited to be back on the field

| September 1, 2020

Ridgewood High School marching band seniors Alyssa Kusmich, Alexis Bamberg, Kierra Barthalow, Brianna McConnell, and Zade Adkins will get to enjoy their final marching band season this fall. (Seibert Studios)

Marching band season has been reduced to playing at home football games only, but that isn’t dampening the spirits of the high school musicians.

“They are pretty excited and happy to just see each other again,” said Barry Hardesty, band director at Coshocton High School. “No matter what happens this year if you enjoy the process of making music it’s not all for nothing.”

The Marching Redskins are 34 members strong and will perform mostly Carlos Santana music this year.

“We lost some kids I had recruited because their parents were worried about COVID, but hopefully we will see them next year,” Hardesty said.

He added that they took as many precautions as possible while practicing this summer.

“Especially inside we spread out six feet, we’ve been disinfecting music stands and chairs and when they show up and leave they have their masks,” Hardesty said.

He has the band members social distance the best he can and said they also practiced 15 less hours during band camp week.

“We cut out our middle practice so we could eliminate having to eat together,” Hardesty said.

Seniors Wes Abbott and Michaela Jennings were both glad to be back even with all the changes.

“It’s great to be back,” said Abbott, who plays trombone. “It feels good to be working with people like me.”

Jennings agreed with him.

“There hasn’t been a lot to do since school ended so it’s good to be back,” she said. “I like the family aspect of band.”

Although the season is much sorter this year, Ridgewood eighth grader Zoey Alan is still glad to be back.

“I was really excited because this is one thing I was looking forward to,” she said.

Alan plays the flute for the Marching Generals and this is her second year in marching band.

“Band is like a safe place to me and all my friends are there,” she said. “This year we are playing stand music and it’s all sorts of different types. It’s the type of music that pumps up the crowd before the big game. I like being there at the games, supporting our team and playing all the music.”

Freshman Mattalyn Kiser is in her second year of marching band with Ridgewood. She is part of the front ensemble and plays the keyboard.

“It feels pretty great to be doing this after months of staying inside and doing absolutely nothing,” Kiser said. “My favorite part of band is probably meeting new people and everyone from different grades coming together to bond over something they are really passionate about.”

She is enjoying every piece of music they are playing.

“Mr. Lindig goes through a long process of choosing what is best for the band and what he feels will make us sound the best,” Kiser said.

River View seniors Sydney Starcher and Jonathan Lyons also are excited to be back making music with friends.

“We have as much fun as possible and it’s lighthearted,” said Starcher, who plays the trumpet. “We work hard but have fun.”

Lyons, who plays the mellophone, added that this year they are more focused on playing some marching band favorites instead of a competition theme.

“We are more of a show band instead of a contest band this year,” he said.

Helping lead the Black Bears on the field is senior drum major Mary Lozowski.

“It’s different this year (with the virus and social distancing), but it’s better than staying at home,” she said. “Band it like family. You get to escape when you come here and have a good time.”

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Category: High School, Multimedia, Photo Galleries, Sports

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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