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College marching bands ponder pandemic performances: 'Didn't cover this in ... how to be a band director classes'

At the barest of bare minimums, the Michigan Marching Band could play “The Victors” with 32 people. If necessary, a song that would typically showcase more than 200 students lined up almost shoulder-to-shoulder to form a block "M" could be whittled down to the basics and still play that tune every college football fan would recognize.

“We aren’t going to do that,” said John Pasquale, the director of Michigan Marching and Athletic Bands. “But that would cover all the parts necessary.”

It’s a question I felt compelled to ask Pasquale, whose industry sits here 11 weeks from the start of college football season in just as much flux as the sport itself.