Music amidst a global pandemic

Music during a global pandemic… seems pretty impossible, at least to perform, wouldn’t you say?

Well, for all those involved in Regis University’s Music Program, it’s still happening! Amidst all odds and facing tremendous obstacles, students and faculty have worked to find solutions to allow for the continuation of musical art in a way that is both admirable and enjoyable to listen to.

Because confined indoor classroom spaces aren’t exactly safe for singing or instrument playing in the age of COVID, music faculty worked to provide a safer solution and created an outdoor rehearsal space that gives students a place to rehearse in a socially distant and productive way.

Not only does this outdoor space provide students with a chance to continue to pursue their musical endeavors, but it also happens to provide anyone and everyone near the Claver parking lot with beautiful, live music to listen to.

At first glance, these outdoor rehearsals may look a bit unorthodox. After all, singers wear what is called a singers mask (a mask that protrudes from the face allowing for space to sing) and band members have to wear masks even if they play a woodwind instrument (in this case they cut a hole into their mask.) However, by abiding by these safety protocols, students and faculty are allowed to safely continue their music in this COVID-stricken semester.

Regis Students adapt to practicing outside, which has let them continue
their musical studies. Photo by Alaina Valdespino

Because outdoor rehearsals provide a safe alternative to indoor, performances are also being held outside. That being said, performances also have a virtual option in which they are (whether they be choral, solo, or band) recorded and then uploaded for students to view.

As unconventional as it may seem to be hosting choir and band rehearsals outside, it has been very rewarding. Being a Regis music student, I have experienced this firsthand and can say that Ienjoy it very much. Sure, it’s not ideal to be singing under a tent when it’s snowing; yes… that happened. Sure, it’s not always ideal when the wind causes your sheet music to go flying everywhere. But at the end of the day, I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue to do what I love with a group of individuals that feels the same.

Music provides us with something nothing else can. It gives us a chance to channel our emotions into something that can impact others. Music has power. Music gives us a chance to relate to something and to feel in a way that no other thing can. Music is a gift, and I can honestly say that I cherish every rehearsal, and every chance I get to create it. And given these unprecedented times when musicians across the country struggle to find a safe place to create, all I can think about is how grateful I am to be at a place that not only allows me to create music, but encourages me along with other students to find ways to do it in a COVID-safe way.

Masks, outdoor rehearsals, recording performances… all of these are the new normal for Regis University music students. And rather than waiting for the situation to revert to what it once was, the Regis Music Program was proactive about the situation in a way that continues to give students a chance to pursue their music as best as possible given the circumstance.

Hi, my name is Alaina Valdespino and I’m from San Antonio, Texas. I attend Regis University in Denver, CO and am majoring in criminal justice with a minor in music. I absolutely love the outdoors and love to take photos and write music in my free time. I’m new to writing articles, but the Regis student run paper took me under their wing and has helped to give me a platform for my writing and photography. That being said, I’d like to thank the Regis Highlander and our editor in chief for this amazing opportunity. I’m beyond thrilled about it!



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