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Heat Wave Has Marching Bands Stepping In Earlier Time

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CROWLEY (CBSDFW.COM) – High school band practice started this week in many North Texas school districts. But this year the extreme heat has led to changes for what is usually a regimented schedule.

When it is extremely hot outside the temperature radiating off of concrete could be anywhere from 130- to 150-degrees. That’s the main reason why parking lots used as marching band practice fields at most North Texas schools are empty during afternoon hours.

The North Crowley High School marching band practiced early Tuesday morning instead. But the early start didn’t mean cool temperatures so precautions, detailed in a letter sent home to parents, were still taken.

Crowley drum majors keep the time, not only when the band is marching but also when they break.

“We have a system where I will time it,” explained Senior Drum Major Danielle Kanufe. “I’ll blow the whistle once which gives them a minute to get their last sip [of cool water].”

Band members also know the cue when the break is over. “Then we blow a double whistle and it’s time for them to be on their spot,” said Kanufe.

The Crowley school district is taking the extra precautions to protect students. “The heat policy is in place for all students,” declared Anthony Kirchner with Crowley ISD. “We want to make sure all students are safe, hydrated and cool as possible during this hot summer weather.”

To help deal with the triple-digit temperatures the band is limiting the amount of time spent working on marching formations to morning hours.

The group also stops for a water break at least every 20 minutes.

In the afternoon, when temperatures are the hottest, practice moves to a much cooler place — inside.

Students who talked to CBS 11 News said the air conditioning is instrumental in perfecting their performance. “The hotter it gets it just makes it harder on your brain to keep focused on what you’re doing,” Senior Drum Major Rachel Alenius said of the heat.

We checked with various other school districts including – Burleson, Fort Worth, Duncanville, Mansfield, and the Hurst/Euless Bedford ISD and found that all of them are taking similar outdoor practice precautions, because of the heat.

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