Many beginning of the school year traditions have changed form to adapt to COVID-19 regulations. One of these is McNary’s annual Band Day. 

Band Day, in its normal form, happens on the first Saturday of every school year. Band students go door-to-door all around town and ask for bottles and cans that they can redeem for cash. The money they raise, in a normal year, goes toward purchasing music, competition fees, instruments and other band-related costs.

This year, due to safety concerns, the band members are collecting cans in the parking lot of V2 Dentistry on Saturday, Oct. 17 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. People who are unable to drop cans off can schedule a pick up time for volunteers to come get their donations.

The McNary Band Boosters will also be accepting canned food donations to give to the Keizer Community Food Bank.

“We felt like in this time of need for our community that it was a lot to ask for support for us. We thought that in order to help out the community we wanted to extend our services to assist others,” said Melinda Melting, a member of the McNary Band Boosters.

The money raised during the pandemic will cover instruments, new music and othercosts that are normally paid by the students.

“We knew it wasn’t really fair to ask families to pay for a year that wasn’t the norm when we don’t know what we were going to be able to do,” Melting said. 

Band classes are not taking place in the traditional form, especially since the students are being divided by grade level, but there is a chance that they’ll start practicing together as an after school club later in the school year. Like most other fall activities, marching band is hoping for lesser COVID restrictions in the spring so they will be able to have competitions and perform. 

Masks and social distancing will be enforced at the drop off site to protect donors and volunteers. To schedule a pick up time visit tinyurl.com/mhsbandday