How the Panther Band will move forward

Panther Band lines up during the 2019 Homecoming Parade. Photo by Matt Siciliano-Salazar | The Signal

It is a mystic atmosphere cultivated by the passionate fan bases around each time and a group that tends to be massively underrated in fans’ minds, the marching band. One of the few constants at Georgia State Stadium in this 2020 season will be “the Sound of Downtown,” the Georgia State Panther Band. 

While the Panther Band’s sound will still sound excellent and return with the senior drum major Beavan Zulu, there have been changes to almost everything involving the band and their operations heading into the fall 2020 season. The whole team missed out on their band camp this past season, which lasts a full week.

“Due to the facilities and resources needed, it was not safe for us to do so,” he said. “Instead, the leadership of the band was given the suggestion to meet virtually with their sections to get the ball rolling before our first full meeting.” 

As practice routines have changed all around the country, the Panther Band has had to adapt and keep everyone in the band safe. The changes have not put a significant damper on the enthusiasm for one of the two new drum majors, sophomore Sarah Willis.  

“I’m excited to experience my first season as a drum major,” Willis exclaimed. “I know many things are different about this season, but I’m looking forward to growing as a leader and conductor of the Panther Band.”

For those wondering how the band would manage to adapt their practices to incorporate mask and social distancing while practicing music, the junior, a third-year Panther Band member, and first-year drum major Sarah Harden detailed that with a concise, simple answer. 

“This year, practice is socially distanced in the stands as we will be for the season by section,” Harden said. “For the most part, section leaders teach sectionals for a set amount of time, and then we combine (still socially distanced) into larger sections of brass and woodwinds while guard and percussion have their sections in a separate area of our stadium.” 

The Panther Band is looking toward the positive end and keeping their minds out of the gutter. They have to come together quickly after not having the summer of playing together as a whole band. The sections have had more time to develop some familiarity and chemistry, but there will still be a learning curve as everyone comes together to perform. 

After two practices during the first week of school, their rehearsals have gone well. The band members have been following all protocols and staying safe in preparation for playing in front of their Panther football team and all the fans watching at home. 

Like everyone else, the Panther Band will adapt as needed while keeping their heads up and staying positive as they march through the 2020 football season.