Photos/video: Jacquelyn Opalach


On Friday afternoon, a buncha Eureka High’s finest musicians and marchers zipped up their marching-branded jackets, fastened their mouth pieces, whipped out their drumsticks and took to the streets for the first time in over a year. In celebration of their ability to do so safely, the crew took a formal stroll through neighborhoods around Eureka High to a steady drum beat, serenading bystanders along the way.

“That was our first time actually playing all together, like ever,” Kyra Dart, the band’s drum major and president, told us after the march. Until March, the crew was only able to practice together online, which, they tell us, is very difficult.

“Oh my goodness. You have to be very disciplined,” Aleyah Angel, first alto saxophone, said about the virtual practices. “You feel very isolated. But as soon as you play with a group, you feel more welcome. You feel like you’re more accustomed to the music, you know, because everybody else is playing along.”

Kyra agreed: “The fun part of band is playing together as a group. And if you’re doing it on an online conference call, you can’t hear anyone except for yourself. And so it’s hard to enjoy it.”

Their challenges didn’t end when full distance learning ended, though. Even with campus open, the band hasn’t been able to practice together because, as per COVID safety protocols, only about a third of students are ever on campus at a time.

But not today! Today, most of the 33-person band united. “It was so cool,” Kyra said. “I had fun, and I thought they sounded really good.”