Even with Covid-19 restrictions, music students in our elementary, middle and high school programs were able to safely continue making music this year.
Elementary instrumental lessons met by instrument and by class to focus on individual and small group progress. 6th graders had a slightly more “normal” experience with regular rehearsals and lessons, while it took until the 4th quarter for all of the (previously hybrid) 7th and 8th graders to be all together in their band, chorus, and orchestra. CHS students, divided by red and black hybrid days and across multiple periods, played and explored music in a variety of ways. They delved deeper into their own instruments and got to try out others, and some students composed music while others selected and learned a diverse repertoire. All high school musicians also participated in the music department’s Empathy Project, in which they prepared a piece of music intended for an isolated person or group and performed it for them online. You can enjoy select Empathy Project pieces here.
In addition, 44 of our students in grades 6-11 participated in a virtual version of the annual New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo & Small Ensemble Festival, a popular opportunity for students to prepare solos, scales, rudiments, sightread, and receive feedback from an adjudicator. Eight of our students used their performance as an audition for the NYSSMA Conference All-State honors ensembles scheduled for this December in Rochester. The students received excellent feedback from the judges, we are very proud of them!
Throughout this all, performance-ready pieces were filmed and recordings posted to Google Classroom and students stepped up to prepare for a holiday video (shared in December) in a collaboration with the visual arts department.