As they are nearing the Christmas season, the Baylor School crchestra has taken a less-than traditional approach in terms of their annual orchestra concert.
Performances that are typically presented live in the chapel are set to be pre-recorded, which is fitting, based on the adaptations that have taken place in response to the Coronavirus pandemic. Nevertheless, hopes remain high, as the orchestra, headed by Christine Lau ’14, have made it their mission to incorporate these changes into future performances later this year.
“One of the things we've had to adapt to is playing so spread apart because spring instruments are pretty quiet in general ... when you’re six feet apart, it's more difficult to blend sounds,” notes Lau. Another challenge, she adds, involves the at-home students who are unable to participate on campus. With only two-thirds of the Baylor orchestra on campus, they have continued to persevere, motivated by the projects that Baylor students are expected to see in the upcoming months.
Through remaining socially distanced in their performances and participating virtually, the Baylor orchestra has ensured that all students, near or far, have remained involved in their musical process. In an attempt to retain the “orchestra experience,” playing alongside fellow students on a screen and layering footage upon footage of video recordings have contributed towards maintaining the community found within the orchestra.
Despite the changes brought about by COVID-19, the Baylor orchestra continues to have many projects planned for the student body. The Baylor orchestra, band, and choir have all worked to release video-recordings of their pieces between Thanksgiving break and Christmas, hoping to get people into the Christmas spirit. Additionally, projects involving the Chattanooga Boys Choir are also set to be released following Thanksgiving.
As Christmas break continues to approach, smaller orchestra-related events are also expected to take place. “Assuming our in-person plans stay as they are, starting in December until we leave for Christmas break, we’re going to give Christmas 'concerts' where we take our stands to the chapel turn-around and play our instruments there [while students eat their lunch].” While these events continue to unfold, it is expected that much more will come from the Baylor School Orchestra, with many students excited about what is yet to come.