The 2020-2021 school year was absolutely detrimental for Greeley West High School bands and choirs. The students’ sounds and voices were completely masked, both literally and figuratively. Through thick and thin, these Spartans persisted to keep the music playing. Now the question, where do the arts programs go from here?
Throughout the year, there was continual hope for a year end concert, but there were many hurdles to jump. Limited class sizes, quarantines, technology issues, and the like were difficulties faced by all arts programs.
The idea behind these classes is to show what knowledge you have gathered through performance – and there were limited performances. ”I think (performances are) a confidence booster. It teaches students how to use their bodies and voices. It acts as an ending piece,” said choir director, Mrs. Angela Slaughter.
As staff and students have returned to somewhat normal learning conditions, choir and band students still have to work around strict COVID-19 protocols. Students participating in choir are still being asked to wear personal protective equipment while singing and phonating.
GWHS band members utilize tools such as bell covers in order to limit the spread of germs throughout the classroom. Bell covers are a barrier between the player and the end of the instrument, preventing air from escaping the device. This has left many students extremely frustrated.
Band student Brennan Truitt said, “Since all wind players still have to use bell covers and we don’t have quite enough, it means that we have to play our instruments outside, and if there is raining and bad weather we can’t actually play.”
As students progress through the school year, they hope to see the performing arts getting back to a sense of normalcy and doing what they truly love. But only time will tell.
Though it’s not always easy, students that participate in the bands and choirs continue to work around these hurdles in order to show their incredible passion for music. “I am so excited to perform four concerts this year, considering we only got to put on one show last year,” said sophomore choir student AJ Catham.