Based on the news Friday afternoon from the systems office showing that Covid-19 cases on campus are down to 221 with a positivity rate in Sentinel testing below 1%, we are taking some cautious and careful steps forward relative to small and select ensemble rehearsals beginning this week.
At this time, this will be limited to portions (smaller divisions) of the string section (only) of the Huxford Symphony Orchestra, the Capstone Graduate String Quartet, and small incarnations of percussion ensembles. All of these groups will be limited to short amounts of rehearsal time in a fully socially distanced setting, with all members wearing masks at all times. All other ensembles, large and small, will continue to operate in the same manner as has been engaged since the beginning of the semester.
We will begin this process carefully, slowly, and with all due caution, paying very careful attention to the environments and how this process evolves. As is clear in the above paragraph, this is limited to students who while performing can remain masked, socially distanced, with very little risk of aerosol transmission beyond what would be experienced in a typical classroom situation.
As has been the case since the beginning of the semester, we will continue to evaluate all information available relative to the safe and potential resumption of other ensemble activities in the coming weeks and months.
But, we did want to share the fact with you that for short periods of time, relative to very specific groups of students, the sounds of ensemble performance will return to the building this week. We still have a lot to learn and must remain vigilant, careful, and cautious as we proceed, but these are important and welcome steps in the right direction.