The whole world is facing challenging times right now, and the PA Fine Arts Department is not exempt. They are doing all they can to fulfill the social distancing guidelines to keep both the students and the teachers safe. For example, students must sit or stand at least six feet apart and also wear a mask at all times.

However, the strangest addition to the Fine Arts Department is Simulcast. Simulcast allows students who are quarantining the ability to see the band and participate.

Simulcast students wait patiently while Mrs. Nicole Clark takes attendance.

“Although Simulcast band was a great simulation of normal band, it was not the same. It was hard to see the conductor and play along,” reviewed Adriana Azarian ’22 as she thought about her experience with Simulcast.

The choir is experiencing similar issues. They have to sing with masks on at all times and can only practice for thirty minutes out of the fifty minute class period. They are also split into two different groups and are not allowed to practice altogether until the social distancing guidelines are loosened.

Helen Foley ‘22 reflected on the changes the choir is facing. “We are doing our best to stay safe so that we can stay in school.” She continued, “It has been rough not being able to face each other and practice in sectionals to learn our parts.” 

Although students are having trouble with “the new kind of school,” teachers are having an even harder time. Teachers not only have to clean everything in between their lessons and scheduled class periods, but they also have to make sure that everybody is wearing a mask at all times. 

Mrs. Clark conducts the Upper School Band woodwind sectionals.

Mrs. Nicole Clark, the Middle School Band Director, can definitely attest to the difficulties of the new changes. She not only had to adjust to the new way of teaching this year but, shortly after school started, she had to spend two weeks on Simulcast. She had to learn to teach and conduct through a Google Meet. 

The biggest difference between being on Simulcast and being in a normal band was the fact that I couldn’t conduct due to the video delay,” stated Clark. 

Even though this year is hard, Mrs. Clark has some good advice to help with getting through it. She states, “This time is challenging, but I know with the Lord we will get through it and make it work.”