Orchestra adjusts to modified concerts

An+orchestra+members+rehearsing+during+class.

Laurie Carrillo

An orchestra members rehearsing during class.

Megan Thomas, Contributing Writer

This year, students and directors from the orchestra department made ways to make the orchestra room a safer zone. This included sanitizer at the entrances and spread out seating. Virtual students came to new practice dates to get caught up.
“Because some students are separate, we only meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays to prevent COVID from the orchestra room, with sanitizing stations everywhere,” junior Kaj Falower said.
With all the new routines came added stressors for students and teachers. Rehearsal times changed, and students adapted to practicing without full sections.
“The online students are making it a bit harder because being section leader I can’t hear the whole section if students in my section are online,” Falower said.
The directors also have their struggles, keeping up with both face-to-face and virtual students. Directors tried to choose concert pieces that students could learn whether at home or in class.

“Challenging for sure,” orchestra director Peter Jagdeo said. “Making sure pieces that are easy but still meet the expectations for each orchestra level.”
Despite the fact that the concert was still planned, other winter concert activities didn’t happen. Many of the students remember things that happened in the years prior to COVID, and are disappointed that this year those things did not happen. Opportunities to volunteer at younger students’ concerts, play in the symphony and attend the winter social were all called off.
“The thing I’ll miss most is probably the socials before, watching the other concerts and volunteering for the younger grades concerts,” sophomore Carley Stoner said.
The standard concert itself has also been moved around. Visitors weren’t allowed to be friends, but only family. The orchestra chairs were spread out to where it to with six people in each section. This all may have been hard for the students, families and teachers at the beginning, but they are all proud that the performance was still able to happen.
“Everyone is pleased that they are still able to perform,”Jagdeo said.
Just because the students performed with the same passion on stage doesn’t mean it was like that in the classroom. Some students felt that they lost their spark and motivation because the orchestra just wasn’t the same.

“Before we learned more as a class, and now it’s just one on one.” Carley Stoner said.
After all the ups and downs that COVID put on the orchestra department, however, they still plan to continue performing like before.