KATY MAGAZINE NEWS
September 25, 2020
By Natalie Cook Clark
Katy ISD high school bands and dance teams have been busy rehearsing and adapting to the necessary UIL COVID-19 guidelines. Although fans will notice some changes on the field this football season, they can still get the same level of excitement watching the high-quality halftime shows that Katy has grown to love.
Photo courtesy: Katy ISD
The Show Must Go On
“Despite all the guidelines, our students have been phenomenal,” says Patty Hyatt-Henson, Katy High School Bengal Brigade and Cheerleader Director.
For Katy high school bands and drill teams, the shows must go on. They have prepared for this performance season and the much-anticipated football halftime shows while making adjustments to meet COVID-19 safety guidelines.
“The students are working just as hard as ever and making a ton of progress each day, says Stephen Bond, Director of Bands at Tompkins High School. “The kids are resilient and are used to adapting to challenging situations, so they haven’t really let the COVID-19 protocols affect them too much.”
Adapting Performances for COVID-19 Restrictions
Band students have been wearing masks at all practices, except for when they must be down when playing their instrument. Their daily routine has also been adjusted to ensure that they can social distance.
“We did end up making changes to change our marching show this year because of COVID-19 mainly because we felt we needed to have a little flexibility with what we were doing,” says Bond.
“The students are excited to start traveling and performing at football games and UIL contests this fall,” says Bond. “Band is a huge part of these student’s lives and we’re all grateful for the opportunity to be together and do something we love.”
Masks are also part of drill team and cheerleading practices now too.
“We’ve divided our kids into groups for the locker room and it seems to be going well,” says Hyatt-Henson. The gym floor has also been marked off to ensure social distancing.
“Choreography is taking a slightly different look, but it will still be amazing,” says Hyatt-Henson. “There are no shared props, we’re saving the kick routines for a little later and we have lots of field between each performer.”
Drill Team Youth Clinics Hopefully Coming Soon
Due to the pandemic, summer youth clinics at Katy high schools were postponed. These programs are very popular and the District hopes to offer them again soon.
“The guidelines we have been provided allow us to proceed with a great opportunity to work with the youth in our community,” says Hyatt-Henson. “If we stay smart, they will be sooner than later!”
Families Looking Forward to Football Season
Melissa Colihan has a sophomore son and senior daughter at Tompkins High School, and both participate in the Falcons Band. She and her family are thrilled to see the football season begin in whatever form it takes.
(Pictured: Tompkins HS Drum Major Brenna Colihan, and Thomas Colihan, tuba player)
"It’s easy to forget that this unusual situation affects many more students and families than ‘just’ the football team," says Melissa Colihan. "Salvaging even part of the traditional season is a big win for all the students involved, and if the year were simply canceled there’s nothing that could replace that missed opportunity."
Katy ISD football fans can still enjoy Friday night lights and great halftime performances, even with a pandemic.
“I think the fans in the stands will love the halftime shows,” says Hyatt-Henson.
"This year we’re all very thankful for the opportunity to perform at games and give all the kids involved a chance to do what they love," says Colihan. "We’re satisfied with all the efforts being made to allow us to attend the games. Wearing a mask and social distancing are a small price to pay for the opportunity to see the students in action and cheer on our Falcon family!"
“Our audiences should still plan to see high-energy, entertaining performances from our wonderful band students,” says Bond.
Catch the football schedule here.
Find out how to get tickets or live-stream your favorite Katy football teams this season.