BUFFALO, N.Y. — Marching band makes its return after a year off due to COVID-19, and seniors at Orchard Park High School want to make it a year to remember.

"I used to dread being out in the sun and marching and getting all sweaty," said Elizabeth Faust, assistant drum major with Quaker Marching Band. "But I really missed it because, you know, I love playing music and you know, I love marching band."

She said many of her friends graduated last year without a farewell season. Now, with schools opening full-time and youth sports back on the calendar, Faust is heading to band camp every day to teach her fellow underclassmen.

"I was a very quiet person coming into high school, and being in these leadership positions helped me learn what it’s like to take authority and help others out," Faust said.

According to the Erie County Department of Health, youth sports can take place as long as people are wearing masks while indoors and socially distancing when possible.

Marching band practices, shows and competitions take place outside and many of their formations are well-distanced naturally. Band director Scott Bean said Quaker Marching Band has not had any cases of COVID-19 and mandates have not been an issue for students.

"You know these kids have always been very resilient with the COVID issues, more, I think, resilient than adults have been," said Bean. "The kids just do what we ask them to do in terms of the guidance and they know for us, for them to be involved in this great activity: follow the rules and we can have a great time."

Their competition kicks off on September 11 at West Seneca.