Due to the global pandemic, the music industry throughout the world has unfortunately experienced immense hardship, as live performances and group rehearsals have proved to be impractical and unsafe. While not experiencing the same degree of distress as the professional industry, music ensembles within Belmont Hill similarly will not be able to practice and perform in the same manner as in the past. Last spring, the music department came up with creative solutions to this problem, including having live virtual performances on Zoom as well as prerecorded and prearranged compositions for larger groups. This solution proved to be viable in the short term; however, without the first section of the year to calibrate to each other, new, innovative methods had to be created. Thanks to Mr. Fiori & Mr. Patterson, Belmont Hill’s ensembles have been able to maximize this year’s opportunity.
One alternative solution ensembles are implementing includes an increased emphasis on listening and analyzing music. Exploring the ways in which both professionals and ensemble members perform a given piece, these groups try to appreciate or even imitate each other’s techniques. Listening as opposed to playing music also provides a different, beneficial dimension to playing music. An increased focus on this type of learning should prove advantageous when ensembles can eventually play together again. Ultimately, once all members have recorded and refined their respective parts, collective performances can be constructed similar to last year. As for individual performers, virtual music lessons are available, allowing these students to continue to improve their skills in preparation for future performances. Moreover, individual pieces could still be performed in a live virtual performance. Though many of these plans are still undecided, these potential options will provide Belmont Hill musicians with the optimal opportunity to display their talents and efforts.