PARKERSBURG, WV (WOWK) – The COVID-19 pandemic has halted all summer band camps in West Virginia for high schools this summer. The West Virginia Secondary Schools Activities Commission announced new guidelines on Friday that will mean the cancellation of band camps.

Announcement Tweeted by WVSSAC Friday night, July 10, 2020

“At this time, neither the WVSSAC nor the West Virginia Department of Education can support bringing such large numbers of students together for full days of large scale activities.”

WVSSAC Announcement July 10, 2020
Parkersburg HS Marching Band, Fall 2019 Staff photo: Spencer Adkins

Many bands start their early summer camps in the second or third week of July and usually there are two to three weeks of rehearsals before units perform for football games and then begin to compete on Saturdays at various contests which are also major fund raising events for the host bands.

Cabell Midland HS Marching Band, Fall 2017 – Staff Photo: Spencer Adkins

Bands may rehearse up to three hours a day in small pods of 10 members or less which blends with guidelines just released Thursday by the NFHS which is the national association that aids in providing oversight of school activities including sports and music groups.

Nitro HS marching band, Fall 2019 – Staff photo: Spencer Adkins

As for show choirs and regular choirs, they may practice outdoors in groups of less than 10 while maintaining social distance.

A new scientific study is being released over the weekend which will provide concrete numbers and evidence as to how far aerosolized droplets from instruments can travel and a second study pertaining to singing and oral presenters will be released later in the month.

Stay tuned to for more on this developing story impacting thousands of marching band members, singers and musical performers in the coming days.