From the Executive Committee.
The Reading Buccaneers Executive Committee met for a retreat the weekend of October 30 – November 1. This annual retreat is ordinarily a planning meeting in which we meticulously lay out the details of another great Buccaneers season. This year, however, it was mainly a high-level strategic conversation about the present reality of the COVID-19 pandemic and how it impacts the drum and bugle corps activity generally and the Buccaneers organization specifically. We came to the conclusion that the overarching considerations that prompted the cancellation of our 2020 season are still the paramount considerations for us today:
(1) first and foremost, the safety and well-being of our members, instructors, volunteers and fans;
(2) our commitment to delivering a world- class experience to our members;
(3) the many logistical considerations that go into operating a drum and bugle corps and how they are affected by the pandemic; and (4) the financial health of the Buccaneers organization.
As much as we wish it were otherwise, the basic truth is that our answers to these questions from last March remain largely unchanged today, and are likely to remain unchanged even in our most optimistic assessments of the trajectory of the pandemic in the months ahead. So here’s what that means as of right now:
1. We do not have a final decision about whether the Buccaneers will pursue member programming for the 2020-2021 season and, if so, how that programming might look and feel. We will have a final decision by early 2021.
2. That said, at this point we have determined that for 2021 we will not be producing a field show, we will not be hosting the Spring Preview, the Buccaneer Classic or Big Sounds in Motion, and we will not be hosting in-person get-togethers or rehearsals for the foreseeable future. Should there be dramatic shift in the course of the pandemic, we will re-evaluate in-person get-togethers or rehearsals.
3. We are actively exploring virtual opportunities for member engagement and fellowship and will promote these opportunities as they are finalized.
Prior to releasing this update, we discussed our intentions with DCA leadership, our fellow corps directors, our alumni leadership and several other key volunteers and stakeholders. These are challenging and unprecedented times for everyone in the drum corps community. As much as we long to put a production together and entertain fans in the traditional Buccaneer fashion, that’s just not possible at the moment. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the present and future success of the Buccaneers and the drum corps activity. We appreciate your patience and understanding. Your support has been invaluable and will sustain us in the months ahead. We look forward to returning to the Buccaneers you’ve come to know and love as soon as possible.