Ottumwa’s Pride of Ottumwa marching band will not compete during the 2020 season. In an announcement released by Troy Gerleman, OHS band director, the 2020 production of “Pandora’s Bach(s)” is on hold until the 2021 season. “This was a hard decision,” said Gerleman. “The safety of our students is the guiding priority.”
The Iowa High School Music Association (IHSMA) recently announced that all state-sanctioned music events within the State of Iowa were cancelled for the 2020-21 school year.
“The 2020 version of the Pride of Ottumwa will look different this year as we switch to a non-competitive year,” said Gerleman. The program will continue to strive for innovation and creativity while providing students with a rewarding and educational experience. “This in no way changes our intent to provide incredible life experiences for our students through music,” Gerleman said.
The OHS marching band will perform at all home football games and parades this fall. The new program is entitled Together As One. The program was created in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and will be used to create a universal marching band production that can be performed by mass groups in a universal setting to inspire and motivate all through these troubling times. Together As One represents all things that represent the resiliency that is to be an American.
OHS Band Camp will begin on Monday, July 27. Extra precautions will include staggered, outdoor rehearsals with the students and face masks worn when possible. Brass and drumline will attend a morning session while the woodwinds will be in the afternoon. The color guard rehearse full days but in a different location. Wind instruments will not be played indoors due to COVID-19 guidance. “The show design is even being written to be COVID-19 compliant, with proper spacing of intervals with students,” said Gerleman.
Plans are also in the works for area bands to come together for a large performance of Together As One. Watch for future updates on this culminating event to the fall band season.