Instrumental Music: Performing with the Pandemic

Rachel Gima, Staff Writer

The Instrumental Music program had its first and final live concert on May 15, featuring students from each of the nine instrumental musical classes offered on campus. 

“I’m so happy that we were able to perform, even if it was just once,” bass and sousaphone player junior Ritwik Kumar said. “It was nice to be able to show my family everything that we’ve been working on this whole year.”

Instrumental Music has previously hosted virtual concerts this past year, but members of the program had to adjust to playing in a live setup for the May concert. In band, instead of being structured in arcs, students were seated in straight rows with chairs appropriately distanced from each other. Thus, the live concert, which had students from both cohorts playing together for the first time, was a new experience altogether.

“We had been split up by cohorts, so we didn’t get to know each other as much as we did in previous years, so being able to see and play with everyone together at this performance was super special,” percussionist freshman Keira Patel said. 

While orchestral students have been able to play their instruments throughout the school year, band students have only been able to play in-class during the spring semester and have to do so cautiously with various PPE. Many students took this in stride and also expressed their gratitude for being able to play and perform at all amidst COVID-19 safety restrictions. 

This year, a lot of activities I used to do halted, so choosing to do music gave a bit of normalcy to my schedule,” violinist junior Emilia Bretana said. “Even with the circumstances, music has surprisingly felt very super relaxed, so it’s been a really nice experience.”

While this concert was considerably different than anything the Instrumental Music program has done before, the event retained the energy and support that the music performances at Northwood are known for. This concert, along with previous ones, can be viewed on the TIMBMusicFan YouTube.

“The concert was a great way to showcase all the hard work that we have been doing in band every week,” clarinetist sophomore Joshua Ikehara said. “Overall, it was a very nice event to return some normalcy to this crazy year.