Instrumental Music Changes Beat Amidst Covid


Hannah White

McElory teaches his class about music from the Medieval era all the way to the classical era. While every class has needed to make adjustments this year, perhaps no class has had to make more adjustments than the instrumental class because with only half of the student being in-person in any given day, the other half of the band or orchestra are missing.

Alyssa Morrone, Staff Writer

Getting back to school in a 50/50 format has been difficult for everyone, but the instrumental music department has especially had to make some alterations. While they are still practicing music, Band and Orchestra are faced with multiple problems as playing synchronously is normally vital for their practice.

Band has been especially set-back due to the 2020-21 CUSD School Opening & Safety Plan which prohibits band students from playing or practicing with their instruments on campus. A large part of being in the music program is performing in front of an audience, especially with our school’s renowned theater, but challenges are faced when not everyone can practice in one spot. 

Dean McElroy, the Orchestra and Band instructor, has had to find alternatives to practicing their given music, where thus far, they’ve been putting more time into discussing musicals and practicing music theory.

Just running rehearsal is different because you can’t get the people at home to sync up with the people at school”

— McElroy

Another issue is the subject of involvement for students 100% online versus students in a hybrid format.

“Me being able to assess and give extra help, that’s harder for the people online. As far as me presenting stuff, I would say they are getting the same” said Mr. McElroy.

Looking forward, there is the possibility of a virtual or recorded concert, but with many students online, planning for this is unsure. 

Regardless of these new adjustments, the students are continuing to attend class and do their best to learn during these new arrangements.

“I believe Orchestra this year is unique,” said Maleah Huynh, a freshman in Intermediate Orchestra. “Things may not go back to normal soon. Hopefully they will soon because I am dying to explore the full experience of orchestra considering this is my first year here at San Juan Hill High School.”

Although they are facing unique challenges, the music department will continue to learn and create during these most uncertain times.