Students continue rehearsing despite event cancelations

Accents+director+Katie+Kouns+plays+piano+during+evening+rehearsal+on+February+6th.+The+Accents%E2%80%99+competition+season+was+cut+short+due+to+COVID-19+cancellations.

Clare DI

Accents director Katie Kouns plays piano during evening rehearsal on February 6th. The Accents’ competition season was cut short due to COVID-19 cancellations.

Christian Ledbetter

For Hannah Leonard, choir student and senior, choir was the highlight of her school day. She said after four years of being in the program, she had grown close to her fellow members, enjoying the limited time they had before the school year ended. This was before COVID-19 became a pandemic and CCS closed down its schools.

“Knowing that our season and our year could possibly be done now is really upsetting to us, but I’m just glad to have the technology to be able to reach out to the people in my choir and still keep contact with them,” Leonard said. “That’s how I’m feeling currently, but I know a lot of people are not only scared with the uncertainty of choir but the uncertainty of when everything is gonna be over, if we’re returning to school and all of those questions that no one has answers to right now.”

Leonard said she makes sure to contact a few members of the choir each day to check on. This, she said, is to keep the community strong and together despite the lack of being at school.

Adam Ewing, band student and sophomore, said for band it is quite different.

“I can’t really speak for everybody, but I would say personally that there’s really been no effect, maybe even taken it apart a little bit,” Said Ewing.

Even without events and that physical meeting ground, both Ewing and Leonard said they continue to practice like always. Ewing said he has practiced more than he normally does during the school year due to more free time.

Hannah Leonard
(Submitted Photo) Hannah Leonard practices new music for Accents. Accents members have been assigned music theory worksheets to complete as an E-Learning assignment.

“For me choir is the best part of the day, because it’s kind of different from all of my other work,” Leonard said. “I actually really enjoy learning about it so I don’t have to keep up any motivation to do that work, because it kind of seems like a break and it kind of gets my mind off of things.”

For Ewing, the music meant for events which will or may not happen are more things to rehearse.

“Even though the events for the music that would’ve been performed has been cancelled, you can still (practice) the music that you were going to use for the events as general practice, to keep your skill up so you don’t fall into a whole hole of bad things. I tend to hold onto a lot of the material I get,” he said.

Choir teacher Katherine Kouns said via email that the choir still has a performance scheduled for May 20 if students return by that date. She said she hopes to reschedule missed performances, but plans for that are not yet set in stone. “Right now, everything is very much in limbo until we have more clarity on how this social distancing will progress,” she said via email.

Ewing is not the only student who has found himself with more free time than normal due to the absence of passing periods and SRT. According to Variety, AT&T has reported record level highs on traffic for streaming services such as Netflix acting as a reflection on this greater amount of free time. Kouns said that while she hopes students keep up with school she sees this as a great time for students to slow down.

“Particularly at Carmel High School, our students are beyond busy. They balance extraordinarily hectic schedules and seldom have time to get enough sleep, see their families, or pursue any kind of hobby,” she said via email. “It is my hope that they can make the best of this situation and take time to reconnect with their loved ones, and really regain an appreciation for school, friends, and our freedoms on a daily basis.”

 E-learning for both Leonard and Ewing has consisted of what they both said were easy things such as basic exercises for Ewing and cite reading for Leonard. Teachers plan to soon have students record performances, but teachers have not yet acted upon those plans.  Ewing also said that E-learning, not just for band but for other departments, was a little messy.

“I’m gonna be honest: a lot of CHS didn’t really have the pre-existing infrastructure in place to support E-learning for such an extended period of time,” he said.

Leonard said that while the season may have ended earlier than hoped, she hopes choir students can one day look back and appreciate what the school has given them. She said, “I think the best thing that we can do right now is to be there for each other, to listen and help each other out.”

Olivia Childress
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