There are things not taught in school but have just as much value as the reading, writing and arithmetic.

The Clarinda High School band is in that class.

Late last week, the decision was made for the band not to take its scheduled trip to Chicago and New York City. The spread of COVID19 was the only reason why they won’t go.

The plan was to leave today and be gone for about a week. Stops along the way were to include a clinic at the VanderCook School of Music; listen to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; visit the 9/11 Memorial, Statue of Liberty and Madison Square Garden and take in a Broadway show.

Sounds like a great combination of education and experience but not under the typical classroom environment. My junior daughter is in the band and my wife was to be a chaperone. Not only did I want to hear the reviews of those places, but I was waiting to hear the comparisons between traditional Chicago deep-dish pizza and thin “fold it like a taco shell” New York style pizza. Oh, and my nirvana is a New York borough deli with a reuben on black rye bread.

But not this time.

New Rochelle, a city north of metro-New York, has reported multiple cases of the virus. Last week, a drive-through testing area was assembled. Broadway decided to close for weeks.

School and trip organizers are attempting to recover as much of the advanced-paid entry fees and tickets as possible. Who knows if this could have been the best chance for those kids to visit those cities and places.

It’s not the first time the band program has been told no this school year.

Last fall, the annual Southwest Iowa Band Jamboree was not held because of the rains that moved through early Saturday morning. It was the first time, in a bunch of years, the entire jamboree was not held. There have been years where all the events were not held.

School officials did not want to expose uniforms and high-priced instruments to the weather that morning. Who knows how long the weather was going to last. Some were hoping the bands would have stuck around long enough for at least the parade around the square. But that idea never got any traction. There was some sunshine that afternoon; the proverbial salt to the wound.

The band kids learned life can be disappointing at times. Better to learn that now than in their late 20s.

By that time, who knows what life will have thrown at them, either by the results of their own doings and things genuinely out of their control. A call back from an anticipated job applied for did not happen. Someone else beat you to the house you wanted to buy. The crush you had in high school, hoping they would still be single, is not as you stumbled across the newlywed pictures on social media.

Clarinda High band members, keep your chin up. There is a lot more life to live. You are getting prepared now.

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