Music department hosts virtual open house

The music department held a music open house on Oct. 17.

Due to COVID-19, the open house was held over Zoom.

Norman Wika, the director of the bands, explained that Zoom was chosen because it was the platform he has the most experience with.

“There was a combination of prerecorded videos and real time, interactive sessions,” he said.

This is the first year the music department put on an event like this.

“We’ve never done a department open house before, virtual or otherwise,” Wika said. “This is the first time we’re trying this event.”

Another aspect that was changed was the recruitment process.

“It’s very different than in previous years,” Wika said. “Previously, we invited students to campus for events like band day, concert band festival, jazz festival and choir festival. We invited them in to check out student and faculty performances. Since none of those things are possible right now, we are trying different ways of reaching out to students.”

The goal was to give students an insight into the music department.

“We hope that it will give potential students some insight,” Wika said. “We would like to make a connection with the students and answer questions they have about majoring in music at SVSU.”

The music program has been heavily affected by COVID-19, he explained.

“We’ve had to change our entire approach to rehearsals and performances,” Wika said. “We spent a lot of time this summer looking at emerging science and research to help us craft a plan that would allow us to make music in some form safely. None of our ensembles or classes look like they did in the past, but we are still making music and holding classes, just differently.”

The music department will remain virtual for the foreseeable future.

“I can say that I think a virtual presence is here to stay,” Wika said. “Once we can go back to having in-person events, we will, but I think there is still a place for virtual events like this one.”

Wika said all he wants is for students and their families have a good time at the department’s events.

“We’ve put a lot of work and planning into this, so we hope that students and their families will get a lot out of it,” he said.

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