Coronavirus: Washington High School Band Uses Individual Tents to Practice

Sousaphone marching band
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Students at Wenatchee High School in Wenatchee, Washington, conducted band practice while standing inside of individual pop-up tents last week in an auditorium on campus. Comical images of the band practice, including a sousaphone player squeezed inside the small tents, have gone viral on social media.

The scene made for bizarre imagery, as the students were apparently directed to stay zipped inside their personal enclosures — which are even placed six feet apart — during band practice, given that they cannot wear masks while playing their instruments.

“As students have returned to high school, they have had to adapt to changes to continue their activities,” reported Wenatchee World, sharing an image of several students playing their instruments while standing in the individual tents.

The report added that even while the students practice inside “small COVID-19 enclosures,” only “half of the band practices at a time.”

In another photo, a student with a sousaphone — a rather large instrument — can be seen inside one of the small enclosures during band practice on Tuesday.

“You get kids back in the building, you get a lot of smiles even with masks on. You can tell people are happy,” said Wenatchee Principal Eric Anderson to Wenatchee World of reopening for in-person classes last month.

Wenatchee High School is not the only entity to attempt this type of peculiar “bubble” alternative to wearing masks.

Last month, rock group The Flaming Lips performed concerts in Oklahoma with both the band and their audience members inside individual inflatable balls, according to a report by BBC News.

Each bubble holds up to three people, with each concert able to accommodated 100 bubbles.

“We collect everybody and then we take them row by row to their bubbles,” said The Flaming Lips lead singer Wayne Coyne to Rolling Stone in December.

“Once you’re in the bubble you can do whatever the fuck you want, and that’s the beauty of it,” he added. “That’s what we spent most of the time figuring out. The music part of it, we got that shit down.”

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, on Parler @alana, and on Instagram.

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