Orchestra in 2020

Wren Walker, Writer

Everything in 2020 is different. Including orchestra at East. Here are a couple of 8th grade orchestra students who have been through the changes.
Abby Pfannenstiel, an eighth grader, plays the cello, and has been in orchestra since sixth grade. When asked what she liked about it, Pfannenstiel said, “I wanted to develop my skills even more and it’s always exciting to see what music we do as the class gets harder.” “I like being able to be creative and learn technique and collaborate with others, and play beautiful music.” Pfannenstiel explained.
But since COVID-19, there have been many changes. The mask protocol is the same as any other class. “We have to keep our masks on at all times, since none of our instruments require taking our masks off,” said Pfannenstiel. She feels good about this protocol because it is important to stay safe and keep others safe. Concerts are also very different. “Instead of a live audience, it is recorded and sent out to parents and we are able to redo it and watch it afterwards.” Pfannenstiel has been through a lot of the changes, including masks, social distancing, and sanitizing their instruments, since they have to share them.
A violinist, Anna Rupard, is also a third year orchestra student. “What I like about orchestra is that it is a completely different type of class than any other class I take,” Rupard said. “It allows me to really let loose and have fun! It gives me a lot of creative freedom and ways to work with my friends.”
“I chose to do orchestra for the third year because of how it relieves my stress and just allows me to have a great time-while still being in school,” Rupard said.
“The concerts are VERY different this year. In the past, we spent weeks preparing and rehearsing for the concert. And on concert night, we had to do our absolute best because everyone was watching live. This year, we can re-do out concerts as much as we want because they are recorded. It allows us to fix our mistakes and fine-tune our playing. It also helps because we can go back and listen to how we did so that we can improve in the future,” Rupard explained.
Students have explained that this year has been very different with many changes, including good and bad things. Orchestra is not very different this year, besides the concerts. “We still do everything the same way, we just go at a little bit of a slower pace,” Rupard said. But online, more of the focus is on solo work instead of groups. “Online orchestra (this year and last) has really helped me focus on myself and become a better player.” Rupard concluded.