Music students find alternative ways to perform during the pandemic2 min read


Members of the Chamber Orchestra meets every Thursday through the Zoom video meeting site.

De Anza College music students are now meeting and practicing together through virtual band sessions as a result of sheltering in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anna Somber, 56, music major, said that she and other music students were unsure of how online classes will work for them.
“At first, I was skeptical about it because the orchestra is all about being together,” said Somber. “We love our orchestra and we want to stay connected, and not lose the momentum we have. Most of us decided to pursue and make it work even though we are not meeting in person.”
Music classes typically have a quarter-end performance, but those performances have now been adapted to other creative alternatives due to the effects of COVID-19.
Loren Tayerle, director of the chamber orchestra, came up with an individual concerto project that can also involve the whole group.
“I am very fortunate to have been teaching Music 1A online at De Anza for the last 18 years so I am very experienced teaching online,” he said. “Teaching and directing an ensemble like the De Anza Chamber Orchestra is a whole other matter.”
Ruby Sanders, 48, music major, said that she and her classmates are collaborating through this project.
“Each person gets to choose their own project piece they want to play, but everyone is helping each other to put it together,” she said.

Due to COVID-19 outbreak music students cant meet in person to rehearse. Photo was taken back during fall quarter. Ruby Sanders is rehearsing with their concert master (Eric Finley) next to her.

Sanders said that Tayerle also is offering one-on-one sessions to help each student.
“This is a big advantage as I can work with them on individual playing needs for their instrument and projects,” Tayerle said.
Sanders and Somber both said they look forward to meeting for class every Thursday on Zoom. In celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday, Tayerle sends out music sheets each week and the students play along virtually.
Despite being separated by distance, the De Anza Choir is also practicing together virtually.
Sky Ward, 19, music major and lead editor said, “We were stressing out at first but we went through a lot of testing phases and we finally got the hang of it and it’s really fun.”
Ward said they aim to learn new songs and record them to produce a virtual choir album.
“I know it’s difficult for everyone right now. Just keep your heads up and put your heart into it,” Ward said. “Music is magical like that where it reaches a lot of boundaries that a lot of people don’t think about.”