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A senior year cut short for FCHS band

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Fleming County High School

Photo submitted by Fleming County High School

Fleming County The abrupt removal of traditional face-to-face learning has not been easy on students or teachers, including those who were involved in extracurricular activities.

Senior members of the Fleming County High School Band have been hit hard from the cancellation of performances and rehearsals due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We won’t even get to perform the piece we had been working on for months at our concert,” said Brandi Lewis, a senior and French Horn player in the FCHS Band. “The band won’t perform during the graduation ceremony either, which is always a big part of our practices every year.”

Several students have been in band since their freshman year.

“We had worked so hard, not just this school year, but our entire scholastic careers and to have our final senior nights, concerts and our moments of spotlight as we walk at graduation be taken away, it’s been hard to grasp,” said Lewis.

While the band may be separated, technology is being used at home to keep the connection between teacher and students alive during the turmoil.

"Most of the conversations I’ve had with students have been fairly low-key, because I think right now everybody is focused on staying in a good place mentally,” said Keith Coleman, the FCHS Band Director and Humanities Instructor. “I can’t imagine how heart wrenching it can be for those seniors. You only get one senior year of high school, and that’s why I tell kids to dig in and enjoy everything that they do.”

Coleman said he believes that the quarantine can create an appreciation for the students and what they represent as the FCHS Band. He said students could grow from the situation and become more passionate about their craft.

“Our band this year was reaching new peaks of excellence,” said Coleman “So to have that cut off, it’s the lesson of how valuable what we do together is. I think that should be an important thing to carry forward.”

With Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear closing schools for the remainder of the year, their focus has become adapting to remote learning and an enhanced focus on mental health.

“I miss all of my students,” said Coleman. “I miss particularly being together with our band family, and I can’t wait to see all of those kids again, and I hope everybody is doing as well as they can with this.”