Bands of America Return to St. Louis After COVID-19 Pandemic Canceled 2020 Competition | Education

“The best part is the bus rides and being with your friends,” Letterman said.

Grain Valley practices approximately 12 hours per week and attends several competitions each year. The group recently traveled 13 hours round trip from their home in eastern Kansas City to Iowa for a competition, he said.

The students weren’t the only ones happy to return to work.

Daren Jett’s daughters Angela and Katelynn were preparing to compete for high school band Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, but Jett was outside painting 12-foot props with several other parents.

He said the adults had been working for several weeks to build the metal props and sew their blue and pink blankets for the band’s “The Edge of Eternity” show. All the parents volunteered their time, he said, but it was worth it.

“We are ready to make these children shine,” he said. “We are there for them.

Back inside the Dome in Rosemount, Minnesota, the Oakley Dalton High School Drum Major was soaking up his senior year at the super regional competition. He said he was grateful that the group provided him with an inclusive and positive place to land in high school, and he wanted to pass that on to other students in his leadership role.

“I said (to the younger members) you just have to do your best and put it all on the pitch,” said Dalton.

Corina C. Butler

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