By Joe Bedford
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
GRAND LEDGE- Marching band at Grand Ledge High School will become an after school program instead of a class next school year.
Marching band will become a co-curricular activity meeting outside of class instead of during school time. Freshman are required to be in the marching band if they wish to be in the concert bands. Sophomores, juniors and seniors can now be in concert band without being in marching band according to a statement released by the band director Christopher Blackmer.
Marching band was moved because of a philosophical and educational change and a lack of assistant directors. The class has become a large study hall due to the lack of assistant directors. The marching band will now meet after school twice a week for three hours, Blackmer said. This has raised concerns about conflicts with sports or other after school activities.
“As a parent of both band members and athletes what I can tell you is that they all frequently spent more than three hours a day whether at practice for their sports or practice with their instruments,” Jason Martin said.
Sharron Upton, a mother of a future band member, was concerned about what this means for the future of the marching ban
“As a former Comet Marching Band member this makes me very sad,” Upton said. “My daughter is about to join band next year, I’m very concerned what this will do to the marching band program.”
There was an informational meeting about the changes to the band program at 7 p.m. Wednesday, February 20 in the high school band room.