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Pandemic creates logistical problems for performing arts groups

Kicking it up at the Dance Reid Davis performs in a scene of the play Footloose Photo by Ted Nolat.

This year performing arts will be managing their schedules and classes differently due to COVID-19. In theater courses, students have to abide by safety plans, but other than that, everything is the same other than social distancing. Theater Faculty Adviser Dr. Laurie Godfrey said,  “As long as sports are on so is theater.”

The schedule for the “Spoon River Anthology”, this year’s fall play, will start earlier than usual.  Students have already started practicing in class and soon we will start after-school practices. Students usually start in November, but this year started in August. 

According to Band Director Mr. Matt Finley this year is very different from the past years. With the combination of having a new trimester schedule, some students doing e-learning only, and the restrictions and conscious protocols in place, the arts will have to made adjustments.  

The band’s winter and spring concerts are simply not happening this year. Until restrictions change, it is not safe to perform indoors.  It is still safe to perform at this time at football games and basketball games, but what that will look like, is still not set in stone. “We are hopeful that we can organize some kind of alternative performance, different from what we’ve done in the past.” Mr. Finley said. “Our schedule, due to the reduction in performances, is different from past years. We anticipate playing at the football games and have rehearsal twice a week from 6-8 pm outdoors, to prepare for those games. Other than that, our schedule is fairly open. We hope to be able to perform more in the future, but the safety of our audience and students has to take the highest priority.” 

Choir classes will also feel the effects of changes. Director of Choirs Ms. Kristi Billings said, “The choir this year is definitely more of a comprehensive musical experience. Given all of the safety protocols necessary as a result of COVID-19, the choir will include many more non-singing activities like music theory lessons and review, music history and culture, and dancing. ”

Choirs also, we will be spending more time outside than normal since social distancing provides more space for ensembles. Ms. Billings also notes that live performances as a large group “simply aren’t possible at the moment so we will be utilizing all of the amazing technological tools available to use this year to create high-quality virtual performances.” Ms. Billings said some of the performances will be soloists or small groups and others will be entire ensembles made up of individually record videos digitally pieced together and edited into one video. 

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