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Panthers marching band perform for live audiences even during COVID times

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CEDAR FALLS, Iowa (KWWL) - The Panthers Marching Band has been holding outdoor concerts, but the cold weather has forced them inside.

The band has been performing in this concert series all throughout the fall semester, trying to normalize live performances once again. While they are usually performing on the school lawn for audiences to enjoy, their most recent performance moved to the UNI Dome.

“Being able to play here in the dome today, while playing outside would have been nice, it’s not bad because the dome is home for us. This is where we practice. This is where we play. Where we have a lot of fun. So being in our normal space is kind of comforting,” Panthers Marching Band trumpeter Sam Smith said.

The audience is required to wear face masks and social distance in the stands while inside the UNI Dome.

Without a normal football season where the band would normally play about 6 times at home games, the band wanted to make performing during the pandemic, normal again. The Panthers football season has moved to the spring, but the marching band may only play for the basketball games during the spring season.

“We're in front of a live audience probably once every two weeks or so under normal circumstances. It’s about half as much, sometimes less than that during the pandemic unfortunately,” director Justin Mertz said.

Concert themes range from music from the movies, to pop hits of today.

Live performances add to the education of the students within the School of Music at UNI, and even though they are modified this semester, it's still educational.

The next concert that the Panthers Marching Band will put on will be on November 20 at 4:30pm, and will likely be in the UNI Dome once again.

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Diego Hernandez

Multimedia Journalist

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