Just as many other events have been canceled because of coronavirus concerns, the Charles County, Maryland, youth orchestra had to cancel its planned spring concert due to the pandemic. But not wanting everyone to miss out, they decided to create an abbreviated concert and share it online.
Dozens of students recorded Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” and the videos of their performances were combined and uploaded on the organization’s Facebook page.
Not only does it offer those staying at home something to listen to, but Osman Kivrak, the director of the high school portion of the orchestra, also said it was a good exercise for the students to keep them practicing.
“If they don’t have anything to practice for, they will put away their instruments and by the next time I see them they would go backward,” Kivrak said. “It encourages them to practice. It kept them busy during these difficult times.”
He also said it’s a great opportunity for the young artists to get the audience they work so hard for.
“If I just play to myself, yes I enjoy it, but I like to be heard. I like to be appreciated, too. When people like what I do it makes me happy.”
That satisfaction is something the online performance is giving students who can’t get it in person this year because of the pandemic.
As most of his students are high school-aged, some of them are missing their final days of school. Kivrak said the social aspect of their weekly group sessions is great for their morale.
“They are so eager to come week after week. They smile; they look very happy,” he said.
In recent weeks, they had been periodically posting videos of students performing solo and in family units in what they called “Chamber Music” posts.
But now that they know they can put together a group project, they’re rehearsing for a longer Fourth of July pandemic performance.
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