Simren Shah

Arts and Culture Editor

 Millersville students have been experiencing a unique Fall 2020 semester due to the pandemic and a mostly virtual learning experience. This semester looks different for everyone, however there are some majors and campus organizations that are particularly suffering during this unprecedented time. 

     Large recitals and practices have been put on hold for band students at Millersville as well as other universities across the nation. However, Millersville University’s band has not disappeared. Three band students, Henry Miller, Carly Spina, and Brady White shared some details about what the band is up to now. 

     Students are now allowed half an hour of play time during socially distanced practices on campus. “The biggest restriction is the fact that we can’t practice any instrument that requires breath,” said Miller. 

     Along with socially distanced in-person rehearsals, the band also utilizes zoom for virtual practices. White said these rehearsals are successful, however “singing as a group over Zoom isn’t really possible.” 

     So, how are these bands students maintaining a sense of unity with the loss of traditional practices and performances? “Being in my section in drum-line we’re a really close-knit group. We do Zoom meetings and play Jackbox,” said Spina. 

     As for concerts, Glorious Sounds of the Season (GSS), the big winter recital had to be scheduled as a virtual event. Henry said the concert will be streamed online with free attendance. However, viewers will have the option to donate to the Tell School of Music if they wish.

     Other performances will still be held in the Winter Center with a capacity limit that has yet to be determined. Video postings of concerts will also be available. Instruments requiring breath will be included in concerts due to the use of bell covers. 

Despite restrictions, the students said they were still optimistic. 

“We’re forced to play in small groups and it’s better than not at all,” said Miller.

Band students like Miller, Spina, and White are making the best of the current situation and are not giving up on their shared passion. They are dedicated to performing as much as possible while keeping the health and safety of everyone in mind.