Band trip postponed due to concerns over Covid-19

Senior+drum+major+James+Wheeler+directs+the+band+at+Marchapalooza+on+Nov.+21.

Eddie Barrios

Senior drum major James Wheeler directs the band at Marchapalooza on Nov. 21.

Aubrey Villarreal, A&E Writer

Because of coronavirus concerns, the concert band’s spring break trip to Chicago has been postponed. Band members received the news early Thursday morning.

“The main concern was the safety of the students is always first,” director Bill Turley said. “And the other concern is that we would get all the way to Chicago and then they’d already shut everything down.”

Turley told the band that a new date is not confirmed yet, but he thinks that the trip might be rescheduled to the week after school gets out. 

Students paid $675 each to go on the trip. The four-day itinerary included visits to Millennium Park, the Museum of Science and Industry and Andy’s Jazz Club, along with performances at the Field Museum of Natural History. The band was also scheduled to take campus tours at Drake University and the University of Central Missouri.

Some, like junior Blake Burnett, were disappointed by this news. 

“It really sucks that the trip was postponed. I understand the reason behind it with the coronavirus being around; however, I don’t believe the trip will be canceled.”

Sophomore Alexis Lister expressed similar sentiments.
“I have been looking forward to this since last year, and I couldn’t wait until we got to go,” Lister said. “When we found out we weren’t going, I was very disappointed and even a little upset. I honestly don’t have any plans for spring break now, and I’m not sure what I’m going to do at all.”

As of today, the state of Illinois is now up to 32 cases of the virus after seven new cases were confirmed 13 hours ago. 

Turley said he is in contact with the travel company organizing the trip to make sure no one is charged any extra fees for missed check-ins etc. Typically with a trip like this, there is a 10% to 20% rescheduling fee due to the inconvenience for the company. Superintendent Dan Brungardt told Turley that the USD 204 board of education would cover any added fees as a result of the postponement.

“I really appreciate the support of our administration as we work through the challenges of rescheduling our trip. A global pandemic is something new for all of us and we’re looking at the options,” Turley said.