Last updated Sep 24

We are closely monitoring updates from Rice, C-USA, and the scientific community regarding COVID-19, and we are developing our plans in line with the safety protocols and best practices established by these authorities. The safety of our members is our top priority! We are working hard to ensure that we can have safe in-person experiences this semester, as well as high-quality virtual experiences for MOBsters who are unable or do not feel comfortable joining us on campus at this time.

Here are our current plans, as well as plans from other organizations which impact us:

  • The MOB:
    Read our full re-entry plan documents: Gladu Band Hall | Rehearsals | Social Events
    General policies:

    • All members must wear masks, including while playing instruments. Additionally, wind players must cover their bells and/or instruments as well. A study commissioned by the College Band Directors National Association has determined that masks and instrument covers should be used while playing to minimize spread of aerosols and droplets. The study found that taking these measures greatly reduces the risk of virus transmission and ensures a safe environment in which bands can rehearse and play.
    • We will provide masks and instrument/bell coverings for members to use. These are designed so that the mouthpiece and/or reed of the instrument can be put through the front of the mask while still preventing excess air from escaping. We are working on a mask design that will allow flute players to playput their instruments through the side of their masks without negating the effects of the mask.
    • Members should not share instruments. We are happy to provide instruments for members for free as usual, but if you have your own instrument or mouthpiece, please use it.
    • We will still be having social events! Even with physical distancing, we want everyone to come together as a part of the MOB community, even if they are not here in person!


    • All rehearsals will be held outside on the east concourse of Rice Stadium to maintain a flow of fresh air.
    • Rehearsals will be available to students who are remote or uncomfortable joining us in person. All rehearsals will have a Zoom meeting running at the same time, with the link in the newsletter.
    • Rehearsals will be limited to 25 people, and we will provide a choice of several rehearsals for members to attend throughout the week to make sure everyone is able to join.

    Football games:

    • We currently plan to play in the stands during football games, physically distanced and wearing masks. Safety is our first priority for our members, and our plans may change in order to keep everyone safe.
    • We hope to be able to perform halftime shows from the stands, using the video board as an aid. More info coming soon.
    • We will not be wearing our three-piece suit uniforms this year. We will be wearing our Hawaiian shirts and caps:

  • NCAA: The NCAA is not regulating how individual schools and conferences choose to play football. Some conferences have chosen to not play this season or to play conference-only schedules, which has resulted in the cancellation of the Rice vs LSU game.
  • Conference USA:
    • C-USA has stated that they will not impose restrictions on conference members’ football schedules, instead focusing on testing protocols for athletes.
    • C-USA has restricted marching bands to the stands, forbidding on-field halftime and pregame shows.
  • Rice Athletics: Rice has delayed the start of the football season to September 26. On August 24, Rice announced it has cancelled its game against Lamar. On September 14, Rice announced that C-USA had “postponed” the games against Marshall and UAB. As of now, the first game of the season will be October 24 against MTSU. There is a possibility of previously cancelled games being rescheduled, though nothing official has been announced.
  • Rice University:
    • Rice University administration has mandated masks be worn on campus at all times except in students’ dorm rooms and unshared office spaces. The MOB will be obeying this order by wearing masks while playing and using covers for our instruments.
    • Class sizes are restricted to 25 people, and all other gatherings are restricted to 50 people.
    • See the Rice website for a complete list of Rice University policies.


Here are some other resources for you to learn more:

The MOB truly takes Rice’s spirit of unconventional wisdom to heart and to the extreme—we’re used to thinking outside the box, and no matter what, we’re going to find a way to allow our members to keep music and community in their lives.

Interested in what virtual activities might look like for the MOB? Some of our fun Zoom events from the past few months have included:

  • RSB and community music listening sessions led by our Director of Bands, Chuck Throckmorton
  • Movie nights
  • Finals study parties
  • Our end of year banquet, themed “Zooming into the Future”
  • Game nights, featuring favorites like Pictionary, Pokémon Showdown, and One Night Ultimate Werewolf, among others