BOARDMAN, Ohio (WKBN) – There’s a tradition at Boardman High School where every year, the band will perform during the Memorial Day parade and service. This year, they continued the tradition, but through a new avenue.
It’s a day most band students at Boardman High look forward to.
“We always have a Cedar Point trip on Memorial Day weekend and then we always have the Memorial Day in Boardman, that parade,” said senior graduate John Blinsky.
But because of the pandemic, the Boardman band had to decide on a creative way to keep the tradition alive. So on Monday, Boardman band students stood out on their front lawns and performed Taps in honor of Memorial Day.
“We wanted to do something special to honor Memorial Day and to honor all of the people who are going through a hard time and for sacrificing for other people and also give our community a reason to come together on Memorial Day,” said band director Tim Tuite.
Tuite said over 1,000 students were asked to participate locally. He even extended the invitation throughout the states to spread the movement.
“It’s not just in Boardman — Canfield, Poland, Austintown, all of the band directors in the area. I’ve even talked to band directors in Oregon and Michigan and California and Texas. We wanted to get one from all 50 states, at least one community to do it,” Tuite said.
After speaking with students in the band, it was clear they were upset they couldn’t be together but they were glad to be connected through music.
“Not being together has been hard but the fact that we can get together but not actually be together is kind of the magic of music because music, you don’t have to be with each other to still make music,” said student Aidan Swavel.
“We’re doing this so everyone doesn’t feel disconnected. We are trying to create a thread using social media outlets, using just the projection of our instruments to connect everyone,” said alumnus Miles Spearman.
Blinsky also had mixed emotions but remained grateful for the opportunity.
“It just kind of sucks because I’m used to that being everybody’s way to go out. But I guess this is my last Boardman performance but it was nice to watch people drive by and honk or say kind words,” he said.