Changes Seen This Fall to Band and Choir Protocols

ATU Band 2021

Madison Herring and Eric Martin

Contributing Writers

After being left without an audience the past year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Music has been granted approval to accommodate a small audience in Witherspoon for their on-campus performances, with mask and social distancing rules still standing. Audiences are invited to also attend the performances scheduled for outdoor venues.

“Live music making comprises so very much of what we do as musicians and educators. We’ve missed it terribly,” Dr. Daniel A. Belongia, professor of music and director of bands, said.

Band and choir performances will also be live streamed, as well as shared on social media such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Dr. Christopher Harris, assistant professor of music and director of choirs, said this year is a little easier and less stressful even with all the restrictions that the university still has in place.

“The biggest thing is this year we are allowed to have larger numbers indoors,” Harris said. Last year, rehearsals were limited to 30 people if socially distanced, and this year it is 65. The program still has to follow protocols, including wearing face masks at all times, socially distancing, letting spaces air out if needed to, and bringing air humidifiers and keeping doors open to better circulate the air flow.

The Choral Artists is the only choral group meeting at full capacity, while the university men’s and women’s choirs meet separately. If restrictions are eased up in the springtime, then both university groups could meet together, Harris said.

“We’re so very happy to be rehearsing and preparing to perform together again. It’s thrilling to engage the repertoire and explore and learn as ensembles,” Belongia said.

This fall’s performances will conclude with the Tech choirs performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City on Dec. 14, and the Tech bands performing there Dec. 15.

Harris said in keeping with protocols in New York, all students performing must be vaccinated. For more information on shows follow @atubands on social media.