Music department prepares for winter semester

Cardinal Singers performing at pre-COVID at the holiday show on Dec. 3, 2019. Vanguard Photo | Brooke Elward

SVSU’s music department recently announced a wide array of plans for the Winter 2021 semester.

Currently, all the ensembles in the department, band, jazz and choir are back from break and are working towards becoming performance ready.

Although a date has not been announced, the music department plans on being able to celebrate all of its students’ success through performances this semester.

Norman Wika, director of bands, said the formats of these performances are still being discussed to ensure that the proper COVID-19 safety precautions established by both SVSU and the Center for Disease control are followed.

“We are working on some plans to either live-stream performances, or, if the COVID situation and the weather allow us, do some outside performances towards the end of the semester,” Wika said. “Right now we are still working through options.”

Wika said the music department has already made several plans to accommodate both types of performances.

“Live-stream concerts will be streamed on the department YouTube page,” Wika said. “If we’re allowed to have an audience for an outdoor performance, we are looking at several areas around campus, including Owsley Grove and the football stadium.”

Wika said the department is making the best of the current situation.

“There are many positives to our current situation,” Wika said. “I’m looking forward to working with this semester’s band and developing a musically rich and diverse program that we’ll get to perform in some fashion.”

Throughout the Winter 2021 semester, the music department will participate virtually in several workshops held by internationally renowned musicians and instructors.

The department will welcome flautist Viviana Guzman.

Wika said hosting Guzman will be particularly impactful for the music department right now because she has a fascinating story of overcoming significant adversity throughout her career and life.

In addition to Guzman, the music department will also welcome Jesse Cook, a professor of trumpet at the University of Central Florida.

Cook will host a workshop on recognizing and overcoming performance anxiety.

The music department does not intend to stop with just these workshops, Wika said.

The department spent the winter break broadening the materials and resources students will have access to throughout the semester.

“We’ve used this as an opportunity to boost the technology aspect of the music department by adding microphones, mixing boards and new recording software,” Wika said. “Our students have had the opportunity to get hands-on recording and technology experience that we might not have otherwise had.”

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