COVID-19 confines year-end programs in the fine arts departments

Sreeja Mudumby, Staff Writer

The band hall that was once permeated by sonorous instruments is now silent. The choir room that was once filled with harmonies and crescendos is now empty. The art room filled with messy tables and colorful artwork is now bland. The stage characteristic of drama and emotion is now lifeless. 

COVID-19, affecting many areas of academics, also caused major changes to the fine arts departments and limited the students from producing art, music and theater. 

One common stands for all of the fine arts departments -University Interscholastic League events are canceled. 

During the annual UIL competition, numerous students from all over the state of Texas compete in all of the departments.. This competition is between each school, takes place in April.

All the fine arts departments were preparing for UIL competitions before spring break, as they were planning to compete just a few weeks after. 

The rest of the changes have been different in each department. 

Band, which once was an ensemble that performed together, now focuses on each individual student submitting recordings playing their instrument to Schoology.

The band banquet and design camps for next year’s marching students were canceled. 

“We usually meet at one place, but since we’re separated, it’s hard to put the band together and see how it sounds,” CHS sophomore Symphonic II flute player Esther Park said. “Right now, we’re just doing separate stuff at home.”

Choir is facing similar changes. Singers record themselves practicing music and submit the assignments through Schoology every week. In an attempt to add variety, the directors give fun assignments such as karaoke. The spring concert, the last one of the year, was canceled. 

Theater planned many end of the year traditions, but COVID-19 got in the way. 

The Take One (9th grade) and Broadway Bound (Intermediate Theater) Mock UIL One Act plays were canceled due to the school closure. The Senior Showcase performances are now reworked to be done as short films and viewed entirely online, through a Facebook premier as a Facebook watch party on May 1. As for the spring musical, “The Theory of Relativity”, the department is currently working to transition it to a virtual platform. 

Instead of letting the year end with numerous cancelations, CHS theater director Karen Ruth decided to implement today’s technology into their class to make it a more enjoyable experience.

I have really enjoyed seeing my Studio Premier Advanced Theater students via Zoom for our Senior Showcase Writer’s Group this past week,” Ruth said. “Using FlipGrid video responses has been a really great opportunity to both view other students’ work and ‘see them.’” 

As for the CHS artists, the AP art field trips to the museums as well as the AP showcase have been canceled.

Though the entire experience negatively affected the teachers and students first, they have learned to adapt to this new lifestyle. 

I miss my students very much, especially since I work with them one-on-one so frequently,” Ruth said. “Not seeing their faces every day has, quite frankly, been devastating. I can’t wait to be back in person with all of them as soon as possible.”



Follow Sreeja (@sreejamudumby) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.