By Traci Chapman
Yukon High School’s Pride of Yukon marching band camp came to an abrupt – but temporary – halt late Thursday, as administrators announced the camp would cease all activities until Aug. 9 due to concerns associated with coronavirus.
“Due to the increase of COVID cases in our band program, our program is ceasing all activities,” Yukon High School Principal Melissa Barlow stated in a July 29 letter to parents. “The safety and well-being of students, staff and our community is our top priority – we continue to consult with local and state health authorities, including the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Canadian County Health Department.”
Band director Diana Williams advised families the move was taken as a preventative measure and was not a quarantine; band camp began July 19 and was originally expected to continue through August.
That schedule would change due to the unexpected break in rehearsals, Williams said. As of press time, members were expected to return for rehearsals from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 9, with a more detailed schedule expected to be released to families shortly.
“The students have done an amazing job over the past nine days at camp – we had a wonderful run on our music today at end of our rehearsal,” Williams stated in an announcement to parents. “I cannot wait to meet back up and continue making significant strides towards our goals.”
Yukon’s band program has already had a busy summer, as students have experienced several types of activities during camp initiated by Williams, who is in her first year as director, after being hired earlier this year. Several clinicians worked with students, who also heard from Barlow and other featured speakers during the camp’s first week.
Williams came to Yukon from Carl Albert, where she led that band to a series of history-making accomplishments throughout her tenure there.
Yukon Public School District would have an on-site health clinic provided by Total Wellness opening Aug. 16, Barlow said. Hours would be from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
“With insurance there is no co-pay and no deductible,” Barlow stated in her July 29 letter. “This year, our clinic will also provide many more services in addition to COVID testing, via tele-med, for our students, staff and parents.”