I was truly skeptical about anything moving forward this year. Friends of mine have unfortunately had more of what I had expected with lots of cases in their schools, and constantly shutting down. Most of my colleagues I'm speaking with still have some/majorities of students virtual.
I know every single town is dealing with this situation differently!
During this time I have had several positive students come through our band halls, but as of right now - knock on wood - we have not had spread through our rehearsals. We've followed the UC/CSU guidelines in our procedures with masking, bell covers, and distancing. The closest we had from what I can tell went through the basketball teams.
I don't know what the spaces are like in Melissa, but if we can get anything close to the spacing we've had in our band halls, with masks/bell covers being required, I believe even if there is a positive case present - statistically a pretty good chance if it happened today - we would most likely not see spread if things are mitigated according to guidelines.
My bigger thing is I've also begun to realize what we do or don't do isn't going to make a difference at this point. Basketball has been ongoing with no masks, indoors, and definitely showing spread - has anything stopped there? At a certain point it's a question of if the exposure is any different. Yes it will be to some extent, but on the other hand we've all been living with these life style changes and health precautions for nearly a year. It'll be over a year by then. Kids have grown used to the masks and washing of hands in my school at least.
As of a couple days ago Texas has administered 1.7 million vaccines. That's not second doses separated, so let's just call it 800k people. Currently 2.2 million Texans have been infected. A million of those cases have a chance of still having immunity to some extent by May. That takes us to 10% of Texans (Yes there is probably some overlap with infected who had the vaccine too - no way to calculate that right now). At this rate - and I expect vaccines to speed up, we're looking at probably another 5 Million plus individuals being vaccinated before May. Maybe 6 million... Depending on transmission rate of these new variants, plus vaccines, hopefully nearly 50% of Texas will have been protected in some way by then.
Is any of this certain? No. But under these circumstances it is quite possible that a clinic in June does become viable. In the linked letter that ATSSB sent out, they specifically mention making a final call in May. There is still potential to cancel if needed, but they're not throwing it out this far out.
If I had made my initial gut call in July about marching band we wouldn't have done contest this fall. I'll be the first to admit I've been surprised by my community's luck so far. My superintendent encouraged me to try and see what happened - and we were able to make it through Area with minimal issues. (Lost a trumpet soloist, center snare, and guard member for Region, and my best saxophone for Area)
I'm all for a call that may need to be made in the interest of safety... but with ATSSB looking at hosting it at a school district, using a non-convention hotel, and having less groups, honestly it gives us much more flexibility than TMEA has. I think it's worth considering as a possibility until we need to cancel - not just cancelling now because of the conditions right now. June is a long time from now!