To make up for a lack of performances this summer, the Ridgeline High School Marching Band and Color Guard teamed up with the City of Nibley to perform at one of the last flag football games of the season on Thursday.
“We love to have opportunities to perform for the community and give back in some way,” said Jeremy Wells, the band’s director.
The band usually marches in the annual parade Nibley holds during Heritage Days, but due to the pandemic, the event was cancelled this year.
According to Hannah Nydegger, a junior at Ridgeline, it’s one of the events the band looks forward to every year.
“That’s why I think we’re so excited to come here,” said the flute and piccolo player, “so we get to be part of that and come to one of the activities in Nibley.”
And the students were not alone.
Brittney Blad, whose son was playing during the first halftime show of the night, said the parade is a favorite of her family, though she understands why it couldn’t take place this year, and the band’s surprise performance at halftime was a fun reminder of the city’s usual offerings.
Chad Wright, Nibley’s recreation director, said that was the goal of the evening: to get people together and help foster community connections.
“In a lot of ways, our hands are tied, and there’s not a lot that we can do in person to accomplish that,” he said. “But we can do this on a small scale and have some minor celebrations … It’ll be slightly different, but a similar celebration.”
In order to celebrate the season and get Ridgeline in the community, Wright came up with the idea to hold two surprise performances at halftime of the first- and second-grade league’s final games.
The flash mob evening event was just one example of how Nibley revised its previous celebrations during the pandemic, according to recreation coordinator Jennalee Major.
Several band members also loved the idea of community involvement, like Kalvin Munk. Another goal, according to the trumpet-playing junior, is to show kids how much fun it is to get involved with music.
“This never happened for me when I was this age,” Munk said. “So doing this for kids is really awesome. And hopefully it might convince them to join the band.”
While Thursday marked the end of the season for the first- and second-grade leagues, the final games for third through sixth grade leagues will culminate next week.