Band plans trip to San Diego

COVID-19 restrictions leads to drastic changes for trip


Mya Stanberry

Band postponed it’s trip from Ireland to San Diego for spring break due to COVID-19 and a lack of student participation. According to band director Steven Schmitz, although he hoped for the original trip, he is happy about the new plan.

Lily Nugteren

With the rise in Omicron cases and the drop in student participation, band has decided to make some drastic changes to their spring break plans of going to Ireland. Band director Steven Schmitz said he is sad but optimistic about the change. 

“Now we are going to Southern California — Los Angeles and San Diego. That was always our second choice, the one that got the second most votes,” Schmitz said. “So I had a pretty good feeling that (California) would still be popular enough.”

In a pre-pandemic world, the band members had the opportunity to go on two trips if they were members all four years of high school. But unfortunately for the senior band members, their sophomore year trip to Chicago was canceled due to the pandemic. 

Therefore, this will be their last chance to travel as a group before they graduate. Senior and band president Jacy Demcisak said that they feel fortunate that they are still able to take a trip, despite the changes. 

“I was initially a bit sad because I want to go to Ireland so much, because that is one of the go places that I want to visit, and my mom was also supposed to be a chaperone,” Demcisak said.  “But I’ve realized that this makes a lot more sense. And the fact that we still get to go on a trip at all is amazing.” 

Ultimately, Schmitz said that the main reasons for the change are the complications due to the pandemic and the possibility of a member getting sick and having to quarantine abroad. Junior Amira Abdirahman said the extra steps that would’ve been needed to fulfill the original plans weren’t worth the risk.

“With traveling internationally, there’s a lot more checkpoints and things that need to be done,” Abdirahman said. “(There is) also the possible concern of somebody testing positive for COVID-19 while they’re in Ireland — they’d miss the trip, and then they wouldn’t be able to come back with us because they’d have to wait.”

Despite these changes, Schmitz said they have the week packed full of activities and excursions as they travel around the state to San Diego and Los Angeles.

“Some highlights will be the beautiful San Diego Zoo and the La Jolla tide pools that have a sea lion colony and a seal colony. We (also) have an evening together on a dinner cruise on San Diego Bay looking at the beautiful lights,” Schmitz said. “Then in Los Angeles, we will have a bus tour of the highlights of the city. We’re probably playing at the Los Angeles farmers market which is huge and has a big audience.”

Some of the previous trips taken by the band have been both inside and outside of the country. A few of the larger trips have been to San Francisco, Honolulu, Puerto Rico and Florida. Some of the smaller trips which were done via buses have been to Winnipeg and to Chicago. The last trip taken by the band was to Honolulu, Hawaii in 2018.