Marching band will not play at final football game, director says

The Kansas State marching band will not play at the final football game of the season on Dec. 5. (Archive photo by Hannah Hunsinger | Collegian Media Group)

Frank Tracz, director of bands, announced the band will not play at the final football game of the season on Dec. 5.

In a tweet posted from the marching band Twitter account, Tracz said though he is an avid supporter of the football team, he and the band will not be able to cheer the Wildcats on in person on game day.

Tracz said he solely made the decision as a result of concern about the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas.

“I love football just as much as everyone else does, but this COVID thing is serious,” Tracz said. “It’s more than an inconvenience for people my age and for the elderly, and I just don’t think it’s smart of me to take that chance and roll the dice.”

Many students in the band are currently quarantined due to secondary exposure, and several have also tested positive for COVID-19, Tracz said.

He said continuing to meet together as a band could be dangerous for the students, faculty and families involved.

“I see this heading in a direction that’s not good,” Tracz said. “We’re going to send them home to see their families and come back, and this just feels like the right thing for the students.”

Making the decision not to play on Dec. 5 was difficult, Tracz said, because the final football game of the season is traditionally when the band honors its graduating seniors.

The band postponed its celebratory banquet to the spring to celebrate seniors outside and maintain social distancing. Other ways of honoring graduating members of the band are in the works, Tracz said.

“There’s a number of things we’re working on right now to say thank you to the seniors,” Tracz said. “We definitely won’t forget about them.”