By: Heidi Welniak

The Laramie High School Orchestra has had to make several changes in the past months due to Covid-19.

To make sure all students and teachers stay safe, the orchestra members attend A days at LHS, Mondays and Wednesdays.

With optional study halls on Fridays, many come in to get some much needed practice
time.

It is also encouraged to come in on their virtual days, with a pass given from the teacher.

“It’s hard to put music together when you only see each other twice a week. It definitely
affects us,” Jada Allen, a member of the LHS Orchestra, said.

Although limited practice is difficult, it encourages the students to make every moment count and take advantage of the time they have rehearsing together.

A major part of rehearsal was the hour and a half block days every Tuesday or Wednesday of previous years.

Without it they must condense rehearsal into the fifty five minute class period or arrange a time in the auditorium on virtual days.

Some have chosen to attend online school, so the orchestra is a few members shorter than last year.

Many, including Allen, have been rearranged when it comes to spots, but everyone has adjusted and worked hard.

The first concert was later than previous years to give the students more time to prepare
and get back into schedule after a long summer break.

Major changes include the spacing between students and sanitation.

“We don’t have stand partners anymore and we are pretty spread out which makes it
hard to hear other players,” Allen said.

They now have to rely more on themselves without the help of a stand partner, but can
still communicate with each other if 6 feet apart.

Not only is the practice of social distancing taking place, but sanitation is key to
preventing the spread of the virus.

Students sanitize their instruments more often and teachers must wipe down the chairs
and stands after each class period.

The production of concerts have not been discontinued however, and multiple new rules
have been created for members and spectators attending.

The last concert was Tuesday, Oct. 20 in the LHS auditorium.

“Considering the circumstances and lack of an audience, the concert went very well,” Allen said.

Another concert is to hopefully take place on Tuesday, Dec. 8 for the winter production.

Classmates are thankful for the little effect Covid has on them compared to the LHS band and choir concerts.

Both have the concern of breathing and saliva which greatly contribute to the spreading of the virus and are harder to prevent than sanitation.

In orchestra there is no need for the removal of a mask unless for drinking water, which has the same rules applied for the entirety of the high school Covid guidelines. 

Many members are anticipating the return of five- day weeks, and look forward to going back to normal. 

Despite these challenges and safety rules, the orchestra has been able to successfully navigate these strange times.