It is with great regret that our conference has voted to end the 2020 competitive field band season. After meeting for several months and creating multiple contingency plans, our directors remained hopeful that some version of our traditional in-person season could be offered. However, after careful research and discussion with directors, consultants and other state associations, the New York State Field Band Conference has decided that the 2020 competitive field band season must be cancelled.
While we are extremely disappointed in this outcome, the NYSFBC remains committed to offering educational experiences for our member schools, students, directors and communities. The NYSFBC is currently exploring several virtual performance options and will send out additional information about these opportunities in the coming weeks. Additionally, the NYSFBC is optimistic that individual school districts may be able to safely allow in-person band rehearsals and parent/community performances this fall. The NYSFBC highly encourages the exploration of this possibility, where appropriate, so that students may participate in this wonderful activity that provides a vital piece of the social-emotional education of the students in New York State.
We share in the immense disappointment of our performing students, educators, parents and fans. It shall continue to be the mission of the New York State Field Band Conference to encourage and provide a positive experience for all participants. We will still work to create opportunities for our students throughout the upcoming calendar year. Despite the lack of a formal competitive 2020 season, marching band in New York State will still exist. We will do everything in our power as directors to support and cultivate marching band for our current and future students.
The importance of the marching arts to our communities cannot be understated, and we cannot wait to see our students on the field again in the near future.
Our directors have continued to closely monitor the Covid-19 pandemic statewide and we remain hopeful that we can provide our students with an opportunity to perform this fall. We are also engaged in dialogue with neighboring state marching band circuits, who are experiencing similar circumstances.
While we had intended to make a final determination on the 2020 season by July 1st, it has become apparent that the best course of action is to wait for guidance from Governor Cuomo’s plan for reopening schools before making a final decision on our season. We continue to weigh all options and scenarios. Our goal is to offer each individual band the flexibility to make choices that are in the best interests of their program and community. Our number one concern will continue to be the health and safety of performers, instructors, judges and spectators.
We thank you for your continued support of the New York State Field Band conference. We look forward to celebrating the incredible strength and creativity of our marching band performers as soon as possible. Best wishes, good health, and congratulations to our graduating seniors as they embark on the next part of their journey!
Sincerely, Casey Vanderstouw, New York State Field Band Conference President New York State Field Band Conference Executive Board
The New York State Field Band Conference is closely monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic, and we remain committed to offering our students the opportunity to perform this fall. As we make preparations for the upcoming season, our number one concern is the health and safety of performers, instructors, judges and spectators.
Our conference consists of over 50 competitive marching bands from across New York State. Our bands and their communities are affected differently based on region and circumstance. We are committed to supporting the needs of all bands to the best of our ability. If our season can occur this fall, the goal of offering each individual band flexibility in regard to exhibition or competitive performance will be a priority.
We will continue to gather insight from each band director, and will ultimately act in accordance with Governor Cuomo’s guidance on reopening plans for schools, including the final status of summer activities and camps. A final determination on the 2020 New York State Field Band season will be announced by July 1. This will give each band program adequate time to weigh all options and scenarios.
We thank you for your continued support of the New York State Field Band conference. We look forward to celebrating the incredible strength and creativity of our marching band performers as soon as possible.
Best wishes, good health and positivity for our graduating seniors and families this spring!
Casey Vanderstouw, New York State Field Band Conference President New York State Field Band Conference Executive Board