Finlay Coupland | Contributing Writer
Since the first day back to school, the Samford Orchestra has rehearsed for its concert, not knowing if school would still be open for showtime. However, on Tuesday, Oct. 13, the concert these musicians have been working toward finally came to fruition. In order to perform the concert, the Samford Orchestra had to make many adjustments in order to keep the faculty and students safe.
Like any other event, the orchestra had to maintain social distancing, but with playing instruments, there were many more obstacles to overcome. Many musicians usually share music stands, requiring them to sit closer together. However, due to the global pandemic, each musician had their own stand to encourage physical distancing. As for masks, string players and percussionists were required to wear masks while performing.
Other sections, such as the woodwind and brass sections, are unable to wear masks while performing. In order to prevent spreading COVID-19, the woodwind and brass players were distanced even more. Not only that, but the woodwind section utilized sneeze guards, a clear plastic sheet that goes in front of the players, to help prevent the potential transmission of COVID-19 to other orchestra members.
Despite these adjustments and challenges, the Samford Orchestra has not only been surviving, but thriving. According to Orchestra Director Brian Viliunas, the concert was a success.
“I honestly think it was one of our best performances,” Viliunas said. “I think the students really sounded good, and they seemed to be excited. I think they recognized that they were doing a really good job in their preparation. Many of them peaked right at the performance.”
Another way the Samford Orchestra encouraged social distancing was by hosting their concert inside the Wright Center. The Wright Center was able to seat 48 audience members with proper distancing. Due to the outpouring of support, the Samford Orchestra utilized Brock Recital Hall as an overflow area for additional audience members. Lastly, the concert was live streamed so that anyone could be an audience member from the comfort of their own home.
After being stuck in quarantine, many students within the Samford Orchestra felt refreshed and excited to be rehearsing and performing music once again. Donny Snyder, a Cello Performance major, is one of the students who is thankful to be playing music during such a time.
“The concert was well needed,” Snyder said. “I’m very glad that we were able to play, especially when we played it.”