Christiana Music Program Persists During Pandemic To Provide Graduation Soundtrack | New

Christiana High School’s graduation ceremony last week showed how, even during the pandemic, student musicians still found time to hone their craft.

The jazz combo performed their standards reading before the ceremony began, then the concert group, with a single full rehearsal combined two nights before graduation, serenaded the graduates as they walked on. Glasgow High School football ground.

Group Christiana director Jeffrey Dombchik had to virtually host several of his ensemble classes when the pandemic struck. Because they could not practice, the students listened critically to other groups, paying attention to dynamics and other elements that they could apply to their own performances.

“I don’t think everyone understood what it was really like,” Domchik recalled last month, referring to the start of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. “We thought we were going to be closed for two weeks, that we were going to be able to play and understand.

Domchik emphasized the role of student leaders as they took charge of their education during the virtual period. In addition to full virtual lessons, Domchik used online instrument-based panel rooms to teach students their individual parts.

The first track the Christiana group performed in the spring was a “body percussion” piece, with the group playing rhythmic parts separated by clicks, claps and other techniques. This practice was found to be essential for the band members, as they were able to practice listening to their classmates after practicing alone for so long before picking up their instruments again.

“In the performing arts, a big part of what we do is collaboration, cooperation and working together,” said Dombchik. “A lot of what we have been told over the past year is not to be near each other, not to talk to each other and not to work together while we stay home for our forties. . “

This spring, Domchik began using bell covers, instrument jackets, special masks and other protective gear to allow ensembles to train in person.

He said that practicing with the PPE allowed students to relearn how to listen to others and allowed teachers to give instant feedback on their performance.

“Already in the few weeks that we’ve been playing together in person it’s been really exciting to see and hear the kids,” said Dombchik. “I can see in their faces that they’re really excited about what we’re doing.”

At the graduation ceremony, a vocal quartet consisting of two seniors, Destiny Brown and Joseph Raymond and two juniors Tomiwa DaSilva and Sabrina Richards, sang the national anthem. Brown and Raymond also performed “This is Me / You will be Found,” a mix of musical pieces from “The Greatest Showman” and “Dear Evan Hansen,” accompanied by the faculty’s chamber ensemble.

Domtchik himself played piano music as each graduate’s name was announced. The graduation ceremony finale featured the steel drum ensemble performing the jazz standard “St. Thomas ”by Sonny Rollins.

“I really wanted to make sure that we gave the class of 2021 the right start, as well as a chance for a few of the seniors from last year to come back and have the experience they had. not experienced last year, “said Dombchik. “The collaboration and cooperation within the CHS community was something very special. “

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