The show must go on

Center of the Arts goes virtual

College of Arts and Communication Dean Eileen M. Hayes is proud that returning students are continuing to learn and improve their skills through the pandemic. Hayes is an ethnomusicologist with expertise in race and gender in the music of U.S. social movements. She is also President of the College Music Society. In her spare time she lectures to her cats Tiger and Woods, and practices singing like Beyonce. Dr. Hayes loves her Warhawk face covering.

Audra Lange/ Director of Marketing & Events

College of Arts and Communication Dean Eileen M. Hayes is proud that returning students are continuing to learn and improve their skills through the pandemic. Hayes is an ethnomusicologist with expertise in race and gender in the music of U.S. social movements. She is also President of the College Music Society. In her spare time she lectures to her cats Tiger and Woods, and practices singing like Beyonce. Dr. Hayes loves her Warhawk face covering.

Lizzy Rost, Arts & Recreation Editor

The show will go on for the Greenhill Center of the Arts this fall despite the inability to host in-person experiences. Performers will step out of the spotlight and into people’s homes through online software like Cisco Webex Events.

The virtual performances will allow the campus and community to enjoy artistic expressions without fear of contamination from large crowds. When students practice and perform, creative social distancing procedures will help stop the spread of COVID-19.

“The choir will perform in their vehicles. They will sing into a microphone, adjust the radio dial, and their voices will feed into the main system,” said College of Arts and Communication Dean Eileen Hayes.

Directors will use even more creative and unique concepts to excite and engage viewers through their screens. For example, some will edit individual play scenes and combine them into full performances.

“In the theater department, the actors will rehearse at the Light Recital Hall, and they will record through Webex six feet apart,” said Audra Lange, Director of Marketing and Events.

The dance department will hold lessons outside, reserving the tennis courts to maintain six feet between each other. Smaller ensembles will perform in the biggest classrooms, and larger ensembles like the Chamber Orchestra will perform in the Young Auditorium, according to Dean Eileen Hayes.

“The woodwinds, and brass instruments will apply a tightly woven cloth over their bell. Twenty five of the musicians will play on stage and rotate after 30 minutes,” said Glenn Hayes, Director of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

The limited duration of playing helps the air circulate and keep others safe. The woven cloths help prevent respiratory droplets and aerosol transmissions from becoming airborne.

“They are required to wear a mask with a slit. When the musicians use it, the automatic flap closes around their mouthpiece and their bell cover,” said Director Glenn Hayes.

Like other instructors, the director has made extensive plans to ensure more than adequate social distancing. Students will distance themselves nine feet between players, 15 feet between rows, and the strings six by six feet. Everyone except for the tubas, bass clarinets and bassoons will be seated. The conductor will even lead from the audience area atop an aluminum ladder.

“Our students are continuing to learn and improve their skills regardless of the pandemic,” said Dean Eileen Hayes. “I’m very proud of our returning students, and believe we will come together eventually.”

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