The Muskingum Music department helped close the fall semester on a high note (pun intended) with the production of two virtual concerts for all to enjoy. On Nov. 15, the department live-streamed the Choral Concert, featuring the University’s Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. The following week, on Nov. 22, the Instrumental Concert was also live-streamed and featured the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Steel Drum Band, and Muskie Rocks Ensemble.
According to associate professor of Music David Turrill, these performances were important for both students in the program and the community.
“Students participate in ensembles because they love sharing music with an audience, and working all semester without the goal of a performance seemed empty,” Turrill said. “Because our wonderful community also looks forward to performances from our department, it was important to keep this vibrant tradition alive.”
Music students embraced necessary COVID-19 safety measures throughout the semester and proved resilient as they developed these productions. Due to aerosol transmission when singing and playing, most rehearsals took place under the new large tent directly outside of Walter Hall. While rehearsing everyone wore a mask, with singers wearing a slightly modified mask that allowed them to open their mouths a bit wider for proper vowel sounds, and instrumentalists wearing masks with a small slit. Certain instruments were also fitted with safety devices to minimize aerosol transmission. To allow for proper social distancing, choirs recorded in Brown Chapel with members spread out in pews and the conductor and piano player on stage.
Despite these adaptations, Turrill says students remained positive and focused on the task at hand.
“Some of the safety protocols were undoubtedly inconvenient for our group and took some getting used to, but these students – and our entire program – were determined to deliver live performances in the safest and most engaging way possible,” Turrill said. “It was rewarding to watch everyone come together and thrive in the Music Department during a semester unlike any other in the history of this University.”
Moving forward, Turrill says the department will capitalize on the opportunities presented during the fall semester by working to live-stream concerts to expand audiences and to provide options for viewing or listening to department events on campus.
To watch the performances, please follow these links: