The emergence of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020, just as our rehearsals were about to start, created confusion and disappointment among staff and prospective members alike as we all adjusted to our new normal. We weren't willing to give up just yet, though, and as Artistic Director Devon Melillo often said, we wanted to "snatch victory from the jaws of defeat". The staff found a way to conduct Zoom "rehearsals", bringing students in closer than ever before to the leadership and character development aspect of SuFuDu by introducing them to a wide array of guest speakers with impressive leadership and percussive experience. The kids also had opportunities in between rehearsals to submit playing videos and gain feedback from technical staff as well as have a little virtual game-playing fun at the end of rehearsals.
At the July Board Meeting, the Board of Directors approved Artistic Director Melillo's plan to bring members together IN PERSON for the last two Wednesday nights of the summer. Social distancing, mask wearing, and hand sanitizing was enforced while finally getting to play and safely socialize all together! The kids and staff alike had a blast, and it was a wonderful resolution to a summer of making the best out of the tough situations we all were faced with. We got to finish the season off with our yearly banquet (also held over Zoom) to see some videos and hear some testaments to the incredible things we had accomplished together over the summer. Though it was a strange season, 2020 was a year to connect more deeply with the values SuFuDu holds nearest and show our resilience and commitment to percussive and leadership education.