This year, Wakefield’s Winter Percussion is coming back, but under different circumstances due to the current pandemic.
In Winter Percussion, students learn to play percussion instruments such as the marimba, xylophone, and the vibraphone and work to prepare for in-state music competitions. Due to COVID-19, not only is traveling to competitions not going to happen, the weekly meetings will also be different in order to keep both the students and staff safe.
“All CDC guidelines will be followed throughout the duration of the activity, as well as all Wake County Fine Arts guidelines,” said Zeiad Yakout, a student at Wakefield and a member of Winter Percussion. “As mentioned before, there will be a less hands-on approach with our instruction method to reduce contact between individuals.”
To follow CDC guidelines, temperature checks will also be conducted at the beginning of every rehearsal, students and staff will remain six feet apart from each other and used equipment will be sanitized regularly.
In the past, Winter Percussion gained popularity from Wakefield’s band members, orchestra members and anyone else interested in learning a new instrument. Through weekly rehearsals, members prepared one piece to compete in North Carolina Winter Percussion competitions. However, due to COVID-19, going to local competitions and having two students play on one instrument isn’t possible anymore.
“I [think] winter percussion might be different this year because we [don’t] know right now if we are going to compete in the AIA [Atlantic Indoor Association for Percussion] or record our music to share online,” said Chase Brautman, another member of Winter Percussion. “Our instruments will be at least 6 feet apart which will not be hard because they are already big.”
Up until December 16th, Wakefield’s Winter Percussion had been having its meetings virtually. On the 16th, Wakefield had its first in-person meeting at the school in the Commons Area.
“In speaking with Mr. Munoz [Wakefield’s orchestra and band director], he was excited to be able to start holding rehearsals for winter percussion so students in the instrumental music department have an outlet to still perform,” said Mr. Orsett, Wakefield’s theater arts director. “Since things have been restricted for a while due to the current situation, it’s nice to have the ability to put together this ensemble for the students.”
Even though this year will be different and everyone will have to be physically apart from each other, there is still hope to conduct rehearsals where students can still learn a new instrument and make new friends.
Other teachers are also hoping to conduct their in-class and afterschool activities in person.
“I am really hoping that once we recover from this pandemic, we will have more students than ever be ready to join their voices with those around us to make music all together once again,” said John Mullinax, Wakefield’s director of choral activities. “We already have some exciting plans for next school year to try to “make up” for our last time together this year.”
Things are different this year, but that’s not stopping schools, including Wakefield, from doing their best to make sure both students and staff get to participate in their favorite activities and classes, making this school year as enjoyable as possible.