"It was disheartening that we were not permitted to attend football games at the beginning of the year, however, it was inspiring that our director Daniel Cartwright fought for us to be seen by the community still." said Rylee Merwin, piccolo and flutist for the band.
The band was handed a sack of lemons to start the season, so they made lemonade.
The team's dedication and love of playing music as well as the outside-the-box mentality of their band leaders, the marching band performed more shows, in front of more athletes and parents this year than ever before.
The band, whose uniforms remained quarantined for the season because of COVID-19, played different venues, marched the streets and for probably the first time ever, played for the cross country team, soccer teams and so on.
Even the tennis team had a visit from the band.
Others who normally wouldn't get to see or hear the band sat on porches or came to their front yard. This started what became a very full schedule for the band performing at several other venues around the area on top of the athletic events.
They also gave a performance at Two Mile.
"This year has certainly been a life changing experience especially when it comes to band," said Merwin. Merwin performed with the band last Friday dressed to the nines because she was also a Homecoming queen candidate.
"Football games have always just been part of the OMB experience. When those games were taken from us, we realized how important they are in our lives. I don’t think I will ever forget how I felt the second we marched onto the field at the first football game we got to attend this season." Webster said.
After that, who knows, being told they couldn't play this year certainly didn't stop them, so maybe the end of the season won't either.
Merwin, though graduating at the end of the school year, looks to the future of the Oiler Marching Band with hope.
"I hope the next seniors can experience a more normal year and be present at all of the football games, but also get to experience the diversity I have during this year. If you truly love being in marching band, you’ll love the extra opportunities to play at other events including soccer and cross country," she said "The OMB and myself are so excited for [tonight's] playoff game and hopefully more to come!!!"