As ANS shifts to a hybrid program starting on November 16, the ANS Concert Band will begin holding in-person rehearsals in the school band room.
Because of the COVID19 pandemic, the band members have been unable to get together to play music. Since the beginning of the school year, they have used alternative ways to work as they usually would—meeting through the Zoom platform, receiving music lessons through Nearpod, and using sites such as BandLab to record songs together.
Considering the circumstances, these methods were for the most part satisfactory in keeping the band active and motivated. That being said, now that the school is moving towards a hybrid program—where students whose families have so chosen will return to the school campus for in-person classes—the band is happy to take another step towards what used to be.
About a month ago, the school began on-campus training for varsity athletes. Now, the ANS Concert Band has been granted the same opportunity. The date of the first rehearsal has not yet been determined, but the rehearsals will be held on Wednesdays, in the band room, and will last an hour and a half.
The band members are enthusiastic about the change. Valeria Alfaro, the clarinetist and drummer of the band, says: “I am very excited to go back, since I want to see my band members in person, but I am mostly excited about playing together again. In my case, I haven’t played drums since the start of this year and going back really makes me happy.”
“I feel that with in-person band rehearsals I will be able to communicate better with my teacher and the rest of the band members,” says Carlos Hondoy, the trumpet player and alto saxophonist. “Because of that, I feel that we will have a better learning quality.”
During the rehearsals, all the necessary safety protocols will be followed. In addition, the musicians will wear specially designed masks that will allow them to play their instruments without taking them off. Moreover, specially designed cloth covers will be put over the bell of each wind instrument to prevent the aerosols that result from students playing from spreading around the room.
Band member Fátima Martínez is to thank for these additional pieces of equipment, as she took on the project of making in-person rehearsals as safe as possible.
Not all the student musicians will be able to attend the rehearsals, but even those who will not are excited about the development. “Even though not everyone can go, it is still nice to see ways of bringing back the normal that has been lost,” says Andrew Lopez, the tenor saxophonist of the band.
The ANS Concert Band’s enthusiasm and passion for music has stayed strong throughout the Distance Learning Program, and now that they will be able to meet in person again, it will be more striking than ever.