VSU’s Jazz Ensemble adjusts through pandemic challenges, hosts first virtual concert

VSU’s Jazz Ensemble adjusts through pandemic challenges, hosts first virtual concert

VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - The pandemic affects musicians when it comes to rehearsals and performances at schools, at every level.

On Thursday morning, Valdosta State University’s jazz ensemble was getting ready for their concert.

Due to the pandemic, there is a new stage set up for musicians, everyone is six feet apart.

All musicians must wear their mask when they’re not playing.

Instruments are also masked up with covers to protect aerosols from coming out.

There is also limited time spent in the room per group. Rehearsals take place in 25 minute blocks.

Greyson Halligan is a junior at VSU and jazz performance major. His instrument of choice, the trumpet.

“Since the pandemic I haven’t been getting any gigs as you would expect but it has opened a lot of windows for the jazz community as far as doing online performances,” said Halligan.

Halligan said another good thing has been the availability of online lessons from other professionals across the country.

Due to the pandemic, there is a new stage set up for musicians, everyone is six feet apart.
Due to the pandemic, there is a new stage set up for musicians, everyone is six feet apart. (Source: WALB)

Larissa Jones is the vocalist in Thursday’s show. She’s a senior and voice major.

“The challenge this week was trying to find that balance of volume with the ensemble because of the mask,” said Jones.

Jones said as a singer, the mask has been an issue but she’s slowly learning to adjust.

Thursday is her first time performing with the jazz ensemble. She said the live stream experience is going to be enjoyable for viewers but not quite the same feeling as if it was in person.

The group hasn’t performed since March.

They’re looking forward to finally performing.

VSU Jazz Ensemble rehearsing for the show.
VSU Jazz Ensemble rehearsing for the show. (Source: WALB)

Director of Jazz Studies David Springfield said the ability to perform virtually allows them to reach more viewers, which is exciting.

“I hope they enjoy it, this is the first time we are doing something like this. We are going to miss having a live audience but we are looking forward to the opportunity to share our music and performance with many more people than would possibly be here in person in Valdosta,” said Springfield.

The show starts Thursday at 7:30p.m. and you can watch live on Facebook.

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