Marching Band Stays Safe While Practicing In The Hot Sun
(Shelby County, TN) The Mid-South is under a heat advisory until Wednesday night.
Hundreds of students in the area practicing with their marching bands outside, they are urged to stay cool.
The Arlington High School Marching band starts at 7:30 in the morning, fine tuning their sound.
“I’m trying to listen and see where problems are,” said Band Director Phil Hughes.
But Hughes isn’t just paying attention to the music, “I don’t need a student going to the hospital because of heat exhaustion or stroke or anything like that.”
The director of 30 years teaches the students to be safe in the blazing sun, “We emphasize hats because we want to keep this area protected.”
He wears two hats for this band, Hughes is also a parent.
“If I wasn’t moving I would probably be dying, but since we are constantly moving its fine,” said Drum Major Kathleen Hughes, she’s also the band director’s daughter.
The 230 kids are taught to wear light clothes and lather on SPF.
“If you get a sunburn it kind of feels like you are frying like a piece of bacon. But as long as you stay protected and wear the stuff you are supposed to like sunscreen, it’s not bad at all,” said Drum Major, Elle Hartz.
The band take breaks every 30 minutes.
“We emphasize having your PowerAde and water,” said Hughes.
“Imagine standing on a field for a really long time and you have the sun beating down on you forever and ever. Then they finally call ‘water break’, it feels good, its music to your ears,” said Drum Major Marie Gumban.
Even with lots of water, in the afternoon the sun is just too hot for the kids to be outside.
So Hughes has them go inside where it’s nice and cool.