Music in the midst of the pandemic

Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 6:46 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - “Last semester was a matter of doing some musical exercises that kept them engaged, but choir was no longer choir,” said Rockford University Associate Music Professor, Timm Adams.

Before the pandemic struck, Adams' world was one where music students sang side-by-side and poured themselves into the melodies. However, in the midst of Coronavirus, music looks very different.

“They are all masked. They are spread around the entire theatre, so at the least, they’re twelve to fifteen feet apart,” said Adams.

Members of the music community have taken measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 by social distancing, wearing face masks and rehearsing in smaller groups, and when that was not enough, organizers were forced to cancel performances. People in the industry said that COVID-19 strips away their sense of community, forcing them to grieve that loss.

“It’s camaraderie, it’s passion, it’s emotion, and when you can’t do it, it’s a downer,” said Rockford Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Steve Larsen.

But just like everyone else, musicians are learning to adapt.

“My first thoughts at the beginning of the rehearsal was, ‘My god, this is terrible. This is awful,'" said Larsen. "But it got better.”

But even though musicians must navigate a new way to create and produce art, Larsen says their love for music will never go away.

“The musicians in the orchestra have been practicing a lot because it gives them a chance to play. You’re not performing for anybody, but at least you’re playing.”

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