The music department faces numerous changes as it navigates the return to campus.
Associate Professor of Music Kevin Simons said he is preparing for the fall semester by finding new ways to engage his students amidst the challenges of a pandemic.
“Teaching music online is a new world, but I am excited about the new opportunities this presents for our students,” he said. “We need to learn to navigate it successfully, and that’s what we’re going to work on this semester.”
Simons said measures are being taken to protect students and the community from spreading the virus. Such changes will especially affect choir activities and concerts.
“Singing is considered one of the activities most likely to spread the virus,” he said. “So, we have moved all choral and solo singing online for this semester.”
Simons said the music department will continue to host annual events online.
“We’re planning on having a virtual vocal gala in November, as well as being a part of the theater department’s holiday show, which will also be streamed,” he said.
Associate Professor of Music Norman Wika shared what the bands have planned for the fall.
“The wind ensemble will do a live-streamed chamber music performance on Oct. 8,” he said. “The ensemble will perform from Rhea Miller Recital Hall and will be live- streamed on the music department’s YouTube page.”
Wika said they have already been streaming performances for the past two years, making it a less foreign concept to grasp when COVID-19 regulations were mandated.
All SVSU and CDC guidelines are being taken into account to ensure the protection of the music students and community, he said.
When it comes to the marching band performances, the SVSU community will not be missing out.
“The marching band will be performing twice a month, beginning on Sept. 16 at 4:45 p.m. in the President’s Courtyard,” he said. “We will also be scheduling some performances at the stadium to be live-streamed on our Facebook and YouTube pages.”
Wika said the stadium performance dates will be released in the near future.
Emma Longoria, a music education fifth-year, plays the piccolo for the marching band. She said band camp was still an incredible time for her and others despite social distancing and other regulations.
“Band camp was such an amazing experience because everyone genuinely wanted to come together to bond over our love of music,” she said. “In past years, I have never seen so many motivated students willing to put in time and dedication into marching band, even with the safety protocols put in place.”
Longoria said measures had been taken to prevent major outbreaks and continued spread, which made band camp a distinct experience.
“We are always required to wear masks unless playing an instrument, both indoors and outdoors,” she said. “As the flute section leader, it was my job to ensure that social distancing, sanitizing mouthpieces and wiping off chairs with sanitizing wipes was actively being completed during band camp.”
She said the virus failed to lessen the joys of band camp for her and her friends in the marching band.
“We always say that the Cardinal Marching Band is a family, but this year it feels even more true,” she said. “As this year is my last year in marching band, I am so thankful that I could have my last band camp be a positive experience I will never forget.”