The bands are working to stay safe under the new normal of social distancing.By Chris Hoffman

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

MOON TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) — With the school year getting started in a few weeks, many marching bands are preparing for the fall with sports still scheduled to happen.

These marching bands face their own challenges in making sure everyone stays safe.

One of those challenges would be how to stop a virus that spreads through the air, while blowing air to make music.

For Moon Area High School’s marching band, distance is their answer.

For parts of their show, the students will be up to 15 feet apart and the band director says they have looked at masks for the instruments.

When music is being played during band camp, masks are worn by students and staff.

Moon’s band has nearly 125 kids.

To minimize their contact during band camp, they are divided into groups and come at different times.

When KDKA’s Chris Hoffman visited their practice, there were about 50 students in attendance learning their show for the fall.

If the band is able to perform at all, they have created shows for everyone to march or a smaller group depending on safety guidelines.

“I think we’re on our sixth plan of the year. We’re being real flexible. The kids have been awesome. We’re trying to keep kids safe and be proactive about things,” said Nick Barthen, director of the Moon Area High School Band.

“We’re going above and beyond what we have to just to maintain everything that we can,” said Nick Patterson, a senior saxophone player.

“I think that everyone knows in the back of their head that this could be their last practice and that motivates everybody,” said Joshua Goode, a field commander.

Barthen says that a couple of students did opt out for this season.

Those students will be provided alternative music opportunities.

For the competition bands across the area, the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Marching Band Association is canceling the competing season.

They are looking to see if there are other opportunities for the students.