The Goin’ Band from Raiderland has been preparing for the upcoming season at Jones AT&T Stadium. This season may look different for the Goin’ Band, but they can reassure fans they will be present and playing.
The band will be at all six home games, Joel Pagán, director of Goin’ Band said. The band is not allowed on the field this season, but they will be in the stands.
“This change has affected marching bands all across the nation and has affected all the universities,” Pagán said. “There are very few bands permitted on the field this year. It is somewhat the norm for the season.’’
The band will not be traveling to away games this semester, Pagán said. All the new protocols and regulations are placed for the safety and health of the band’s members.
“All rehearsals are outside with each member standing about six-and-a-half feet apart,” Pagán said. “We also have personal protection equipment for both the individuals and the instruments.”
The goal is to keep everyone safe, Pagán said. For games members will be 6 feet apart, and there will be limited capacity because the entire band cannot fit in the space allotted.
“The physical presence of the band is going to be different this season,” Pagán said. “Our appearance is different because we are spread out and smaller.”
The band members will be playing as loud as they can this season, Pagán said.
“Everything is going to be a little different in the stadium this season,” Pagán said. “We will see what happens come next week.”
The first football game is at 7 p.m. on Sept. 12 against Houston Baptist University, according to the Texas Tech Football schedule.
Claire Entrekin, co-head drum major and senior music education major from Austin, said traditions and their performance has been modified to reflect the new safety protocols in place.
“Traditions, like running out of the tunnels and the halftime show, is not happening this season,” Entrekin said. “So, a lot of our instruction has changed to be more focused on music as opposed to marching since we are going to be in the stands most of the time.”
The football games are going to be a different experience this semester, Entrekin said. However, a portion of normalcy will be present from the band.
“We will have a portion of the band represented at each football game,” Entrekin said. “We will be in the stands, and we will be playing all of our music for the fans.”
The band’s music includes the pregame music, a halftime performance from the stands, and the usual music during the games, Entrekin said.
“Plans for the season have been changing every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” Entrekin said. “Band directors have been really great on letting us know what is happening and keeping us up to date.”
The plans for the band are looked at week by week, Pagán said. Something unexpected might happen or protocols may be changed so they never know how the next week may look.
“Each football game we get to have is a win in my book,” Entrekin said. “But ultimately, health and safety are first, so we are prepared to do what we need to do to keep everybody safe.”
Katy Baker, a freshman trumpet player and music education major from Frisco, said she joined the band to meet friends and play at the Jones.
“I am OK with the protocols and regulations because they are for our safety,” Baker said. “It is cool that we will be able to play in the stadium even though it is just in the stands.”
Baker said she is hopeful she will get to march on the field next fall.
Mason Cooke, a senior trombone section leader and music education major from Tomball said he has easily adjusted to the new changes and is looking forward to performing in the stands.
“As a senior, we are forgoing traditions like running out onto the field,” Cooke said. “But the band is doing the best it can in terms of percussions.”
Cooke said he is glad he gets to participate in game this year, and he is happy to lead the next group for a return to a normal process.
“Emotions are mixed amongst the Goin’ Band members,” Pagán said. “Students that are preforming are excited to be back, and they are glad to be making music again, and some are bummed that they won’t be able to participate in some traditions.”
The students and staff have worked hard over the summer to prepare for this season, Pagán said.
“Students are excited to get back at the Jones to have the gameday experience,” Pagán said. “And we hope that the band’s presence is felt and heard.”