COVID-19 - MAYS Updates

Dear Students and Families, 

We hope you are all well! We have missed seeing you and playing music together, and wanted to update you on our plans for a safe 2020-2021 Season. 

This is a very challenging time for performing arts groups like ours. Across the globe, from professional orchestras to youth programs, performers and ensembles have had to either cancel their seasons or make adjustments in order to keep both the musicians and patrons safe. For us, the saying always goes “you must adjust.” 

With that said and after considering all the options, we are excited to offer students a serious, fun, and engaging new focus: chamber music. Chamber music (i.e., quartets, trios, duets, etc. ) is really the heart of so many of the great composers we play in orchestra, and studying this type of playing will allow us to delve deeper into playing as an ensemble. Playing in a chamber group will also highlight students’ playing, as there are not as many students on each part.

In order to learn and perform the chamber music we are planning safely, we will hold virtual rehearsals with each smaller chamber group on Sundays starting September 13. From there, students will rehearse virtually until they are ready to meet in person to run a rehearsal live, and make a live recording of their piece. When meeting in person, we do require masks, social distancing, and hand washing. Where possible, we will plan to rehearse and record outdoors as well. In addition, students will also have the option to only rehearse and record virtually if that is a preference. So, to break this plan down further, here is how we will operate: 

1. Students will be placed in small chamber groups based on skill and instrumentation. If you have friends that you’d like to be in a group with, please let us know!
2. Students will be emailed chamber music and given a time slot on Sundays to rehearse with their conductor. 
3. After rehearsing and once their conductor believes they are prepared, students will plan a date to either record virtually or meet in person for a live rehearsal and recording of their piece. Live recordings will require everyone involved to wear masks, social distance, and bring all materials (music, instrument, and stand). 
4. In lieu of live performances we will publish all recordings on our Youtube and Facebook page.

So, in order for us to plan for chamber groups, please send in your audition recording and applications which are available here as soon as possible if you have not already. If you would prefer to meet 100% virtually with an ensemble please also email us so we can place you in the right group. 

Thank you very much for understanding these changes, and please let us know if you have any questions. 

Take care, 

MAYS Teachers and Staff