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New Protocols for Bellarmine Pep Band

Updated: Dec 23, 2021

By: Kevyn Price

Similar to other Bellarmine-affiliated groups, the pep band has changed quite a bit during the pandemic to ensure safety for its members and others. The biggest change is that they are socially distancing at Freedom Hall and are not allowed on the court.

Prior to the pandemic, the pep band was allowed to be on the stage and be very close to the court at Knights Hall. However, new protocols allow only players on the court, which means band members must stay in their designated section.

To ensure the safety of others, members are also required to get tested each week and must show a negative Covid test result to perform at the basketball games.

Stacy Simpson, pep band director, said it has been a challenge to make sure everyone remains safe. Simpson also said it is difficult to fill positions of members who have been exposed, but the band is able to hire musicians to fill those spots.

“One week I had four people that were exposed. They all tested negative, but I had four people that I had to replace and they were very vital. So having to get last-minute subs to come in and play for them and making sure that my band is going to sound good, even though we have people that are out,” Simpson said.

Corinne Royal has been in the pep band for three years, and she said that is has been a little bit of challenge for them during the pandemic. Royal said the pep band is small, so if people are in quarantine, it can make it difficult for the band because they lose their sound.

“We only have about 15 people in pep band, so it doesn’t leave that much of a sound with our instruments. You don’t hear our parts, I guess. That is kind of the hard thing because if someone has to quarantine, we are all in close quarters, too, so it can easily be transmitted. If one person gets infected, it’s almost like the whole pep band is gone,” Royal said.

Among the changes are shorter rehearsal times to limit exposure.

“We are still playing a lot of music, which I am kind of surprised that we are able to get it all under our belt,” senior pep band member Rachel Gruszecki said.

Despite these changes during the pandemic, the pep band is able to rehearse and perform a lot of songs at the games. “It hasn’t affected our performance through all this distancing. I had to make sure that we stayed under a certain amount of people for the room and the space we rehearse in, and also not allowing anything get in the way of our performance level,” Simpson said.

Anyone who plays a musical instrument or sings may contact Simpson at about the available pep band scholarships.


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