Marching Bobcat members and families, 

The past few days have provided some clarity, regarding our upcoming season and I am now in the position to give you more details and direction, about where we are and what marching band will be this fall. 

First, I want to provide some information regarding the underlying decisions that have been made, to finally provide us with a clearer picture of the fall. Last week, VHSL - the board that governs HS athletics in VA - announced that football would not be played in VA this fall. They will be making an announcement on July 27th, outlining how the state will proceed with scheduling athletic seasons for the 2020-2021 school year. This may include shifting the "fall" sports to the late winter/early spring time frame. On the same day last week, the PWCS School Board announced that we will begin the school year in virtual instruction, and hope to begin in-person instruction in the second marking period (starting Nov. 2nd). This decision also delays the start of the virtual school year to Sept. 8th for students. Yesterday, Bands of America announced that they are cancelling all of their scheduled events for the fall. This morning, VBODA announced that there will be no marching assessment during the 2020-2021 school year. 

With no pending events remaining on our calendars, we will be postponing all marching band related activities until at least the beginning of in-person instruction. I know this is a huge disappointment. I will not be assigning "virtual marching band" assignments to you. We all know that marching band is so much more than just band with drill sets. The social and peer group component of this activity cannot be overstated for our membership. With all of this in mind, I will be asking each of you to think about ways we can keep marching band a part of your band experience this year. There are of course many "nuts and bolts" details we can work on, as we move through the year, but I am looking for much more than "just training for the fall of 2021". That would be a disservice to our seniors. You should also know that the band directors in the county are working together, to try to come up with plans that will ensure all band students in the county have the opportunity to enjoy - in at least some form - the activity which has come to mean so much to our members, families and communities.

I know this is not the news you were hoping for. From a personal perspective, I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that this will be only the second fall since 1984 that I have not been involved in marching band activities. I very much look forward to creating experiences together this year, that will allow us to keep building on the pride and excitement I have seen from all of you.

That is all for now. Chins up. Eyes with pride. We will find a way to march on!

Mr. B