I know this has been a crazy year so far. Between my sabbatical and COVID-19, we have not met together since last Fall. Despite President Schill’s announcement of most things going remote for the Fall, orchestra is still planning to meet and rehearse in person. I have developed a plan to divide the orchestra into three groups utilizing myself and our G.E. conductors. The highest priority is to be able to make music while following guidelines and restrictions that research has shown to mitigate the spread of the virus. Your health and safety is of the utmost importance to me and the university community.
In creating a plan, I have been guided by several principals that I wanted to share with you.
- Continue to be an orchestra with str, ww, brass, and perc, not just strings as some universities are doing.
- Be able to rehearse three ensembles simultaneously so that we can social distance.
- Never be in a room for more than 30m to allow the HVAC system to recirculate the air.
- Program worthwhile repertoire
- Having each student work with me as some point and not just G.E. conductors
- As much equity is possible between string, ww, brass, and percussion opportunities (e.g., each student should play more than one piece)
I decided repertoire in July, but have held back on posting it in case we have to make changes. I hope to be able to share that information with you as soon as possible so that you can get excited about making music together again.
I hope that all of you are healthy and safe as we navigate these unprecedented times.
Sincerely, Dr. Jacobs