Several Clark University music students who did not have an opportunity to perform final showcases live during the fall semester will premiere their concerts virtually on Friday.
The Department of Visual and Performing Arts will kick off the online event, which can be accessed via Facebook and YouTube, with a Music Performance Showcase at 7 p.m. followed by a short video by the Clark University Chamber Chorus at 7:45 p.m. During the premiere, members will share a few words about their love of choir, underscored by a recording from their final rehearsal in November.
Each of the videos, which were produced by Clark students and faculty, celebrate the work of music students during a historically challenging semester.
“Our team in V&PA really stepped up and rose to the occasion,” says Professor Cailin Marcel Manson, director of choral activities and music performance. “It took a lot of creativity and collaboration all around — being supportive of each other and constantly checking in. I hope we keep that spirit even when these measures aren’t necessary.”
While the department had to be mindful of social distancing requirements during the fall semester, performance groups found creative ways to adapt, including rehearsing in the Zen Garden outside of the Little Center and using practice rooms to record individual parts with the help of a click track. Throughout the semester, various ensembles and individuals also livestreamed concerts and recitals with the help of Jim Cormier, manager of Campus Media Services, and Professors Soren Sorensen and John Freyermuth.
“We ended up amassing a team between faculty, staff, and students to coordinate several great livestreaming events for Clark,” Manson says. “Our faculty and students learned a lot together as the semester went on.”
That work included piecing together recorded reflections and rehearsals from Chamber Chorus members that will appear in Friday night’s video premiere, as well individual Concert Band sections performing in the Zen Garden, which was illuminated by students in the theatre program. Moving forward, Manson hopes to increase access to V&PA productions through more livestreaming and recording.
“I think we’re setting ourselves up to be a lot more nimble, even as the vaccine rolls out and we can start to do things a little closer to normal,” he says. “The precedent has been set. We already know this can work. We have a sense of where to put the cameras and what lights will work.”
Manson adds that Clark students will continue to play an important role in filming and editing these types of productions. “Our students did excellent work when called to this opportunity,” he says. “I hope we hold onto that as we move through the light at the end of this tunnel.”
In addition to Friday’s premiere, two video performances by Concert Band and Jazz Workshops are forthcoming.