The Discoverer Marching Band has been preparing for a season that they were not sure would happen since July. With several guidelines and restrictions, safety is their main priority. After all of these preparations in the midst of so much uncertainty, The Discoverer Marching Band is proud to host this weekend’s Columbus Marching Festival.
The Columbus Marching Festival is an exciting tradition for the Discoverer Marching Band. Due to COVID precautions, this year will be a little different. Safety guidelines include everything from bell coverings to playing masks. Social distancing protocols made the traditional CMF parade an impossibility for this year’s event, requiring its cancelation. The field competition will be different, too. Director Jeffery Peabody explained that the event would be held in two shifts. “Four bands performing in the first wave (11:00, 11:30, 12:00, and 12:30), then we clear everyone out, and then four bands performing in the second wave (2:00, 2:30, 3:00, 3:30) in order to limit the total number of people in the stadium.” This is a change from past years when bands performed every 15 minutes. The extended intervals allow for the performing band’s guests to watch their band perform and leave immediately thereafter, thus preventing interactions with guests from different cities.
Another difference in this year's event will be the lack of an award ceremony. The bands will receive scores, but those scores will not be publicly announced. Usually, those scores are calculated by eight judges, with some on the field. However this year's competition will be scored by five judges all at press box level.
This year, there are nine bands competing, eight of which are performing at Columbus Memorial Stadium. Grand Island Senior High School will not be performing live, but they will be submitting a video of their performance to the judges.
A schedule for the day’s proceedings can be found below:
While many traditional aspects of this year’s CMF had to be put aside due to COVID, there are a couple of exciting additions to this year’s festivities. In the 2018-2019 offseason, Peabody made a big decision. He wanted freshmen to have an easier transition into high school band so he created the Cadet Marching Band. Last year, the Cadets participated in football games and parades only. In class, they learned a few sets from the show and performed at the last football game with the varsity band. This year, the Cadet Band will join the varsity band for a special addition to the show at the end of the festival. Once the varsity band completes their show, they will reset with the Cadet Band for an encore performance of Come Sail Away by 70s progressive rock icons, Styx. Aside from the Cadet Band’s participation, the Discoverer Marching Band will be unveiling new uniforms at this year’s event.
This Discoverer Marching Band will be performing for halftime at today’s homecoming game and again tomorrow for CMF. Future performances include a festival in Aurora on October 3, a halftime performance for the Lincoln Pius X game on October 9, and a few other festivals with information to be announced.
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