While many marching bands are already deciding against having a competitive season, the Pella Marching Dutch are planning on at least practicing and developing a new show this fall. Director of Bands at Pella High School Dameon Place says they intend to move forward with as much of a season as they can, and have already purchased masks and other protective gear for instruments ahead of outdoor rehearsals.

“As of right now, our schedule is on as planned. We’ve taken some very serious mitigation strategies into place with some mask ideas and creative scheduling with where we will practice to keep us all outdoors,” Place says. “We plan to move forward with a competitive show, just like we would in any other year. We recognize the fact that it migth not go to a contest because that’s not really in our control…but we did feel we could control the expectations for our kids and we could provide them an experience that was as close to normal as possible.”

He says while many of their contests and festivals may be shuttered this fall, the members of the Pella High Class of 2021 indicated to instructors that regardless of what competitions they can have, they want to live up to the incredible legacy of the Marching Dutch and challenge themselves with the best possible show.

Typically in the fall, Pella opens with a performance at the Marching Dutch Invitational, followed by festivals at Valleyfest, Urbandale, and the Mid-Iowa Band Championships, as well as the Iowa High School Music Association State Contest, which will be held virtually this year on Saturday, October 17th.