CHADRON – Although singing and playing an instrument both produce music, the way they do it are very different – so it shouldn’t be a surprise that during this time of coronavirus pandemic two Chadron musical groups have reached different decisions on performing this fall.
The Chadron State Community Symphonic Band, under director Dr John Wojcik, will meet more or less as usual on Tuesdays while and the Chadron State Community Chorus, led by Dr Joel Schreuder, is taking the fall off.
Both decisions were made in consultation with CSC Dean of Liberal Arts Dr Jim Margetts.
Schrueder says scientific research shows that singing, especially at louder volumes, can propel the virus well beyond the normal 6-foot social distancing – increasing the risk of the disease spreading.
With a large percentage of the Community Chorus in the over-65 high-risk category, safety would require splitting the group up in smaller ensembles with members 10-feet apart, resulting in less time for actual rehearsal.
Schreuder also offered the option of a virtual, totally online chorus which was not well received by most members of the group, leading to the decision to skip the fall and evaluate the spring season around the holidays.
Wojcik says initial recommendations from the Aerosol Study sponsored by many music organizations indicate bands can meet in relative safety. The Community Band will set up in the Memorial Hall auditorium with 6-foot social distancing and masks when not playing.
Wojcik says the college is also providing bell covers for all appropriate instruments that catch many particles being expelled by playing but without restricting the sound.
Both the community band and chorus were about a month away from their spring concerts when the pandemic hit and cancelled the rest of their rehearsal schedule as well as the concerts.
Wojcik says the selections planned for the spring will be carried into the fall, possibly supplemented by additional pieces since it shouldn’t take long to get the spring numbers back to concert level.
The band will have its first rehearsal later this month on the 25th at its traditional time of 7 PM. As always, Wojcik welcomes everyone who plays an instrument – even if it’s been years since the last time.
He says there’s also a relatively large selection of college instruments available for those who are interested in joining the community band but don’t own their own.