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Dorchester District 2 pulls marching band from Columbia competition

Published: Sep. 29, 2021 at 2:44 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 29, 2021 at 7:26 PM EDT
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DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two is removing its high school marching bands from the state competition on Nov. 6. Now, instead of completing in Columbia with 20 to 30 other schools, the three marching bands in the district will march together at John McKissick Field in Summerville.

The Director of Fine and Performing Arts Jason Walsh says the decision comes as marching band practices have been impacted by quarantine protocols and weather.

“Those kinds of things have not let our folks rehearse,” Walsh said. “If you have a marching band, and ten kids are out, that’s an issue because other kids have to relate where they stand on the marching band field to those kids.”

But Julie Johnson, whose son is in the marching band at Fort Dorchester High School, says this is not the message she and other parents want their kids to hear.

“The letter we received is telling our kids, we want you to keep practicing, keep practicing, pushing yourself, but we’re pulling out because you’re not good enough,” Johnson said. “That’s just not the message we want sent to our kids.”

Walsh says he, along with the other band directors in the district, believes this was the best decision.

“The biggest thing was we wanted our students to feel successful,” Johnson said.

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