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One-Fifth of Willard High School Band Sick With Flu

Imagine directing a band that’s missing one-fifth of its percussion, brass, and woodwind players. That’s a scenario Willard High School’s band director decided he would rather not experience. The high school’s marching band, known as The Cutting Edge, has cancelled its performances at the Willard football game Friday, and at a marching competition in WarrensburgSaturday because of widespread illness in the program. KSMU’s Adam Murphy reports.

At practiceThursday for Willard’s marching band, there were almost 50 students absent because of flu related illnesses. This huge decrease in numbers has forced the program to cancel its performances for the weekend. Students were upset to hear this, especially sinceFriday was supposed to be their senior recognition night at the football game against Marshfield. Chris Church, director of bands, talks about his students’ reactions.

“The kids are disappointed. We try to get to them to think of this on a logical nature, not the emotional side. They love to perform, and they love to compete, but at the same time we need to get them healthy,” said Church.

Church says that the school and the fine arts department are trying to prevent further illness, and that they are taking steps to keep the students healthy for the rest of the marching season.

“We’ve got some disinfectant spray we’re going to hit all of our music stands with and chairs and that type of thing,” said Church.

The band was also supposed to compete at the University of Central Missouri’s Festival of Champions Saturday. Despite that cancelled trip, the band still has another festival to compete in next weekend in Columbia. For KSMU News, I’m Adam Murphy.