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January 24 2021
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Woodland's bands perform their concerts virtually
The Oregon Herald Staff
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WOODLAND, Washington - Woodland Public Schools’ middle and high school bands performed their fall festival band concerts while respecting all COVID-19 prevention rules, however, the students voted to take an approach far different from other school districts’ typical virtual band concerts.

Bryana Steck, Woodland Public Schools' band instructor, worked with the Woodland Middle School and Woodland High School band students to develop a way for the students to perform fall festival concerts while still respecting social distancing and other COVID-19 prevention methods. Naturally, practicing or playing as a whole band is virtually impossible since playing a wind instruments like trumpets, flutes, or trombones while wearing masks is virtually impossible.

The students did not want to follow the approach taken by other districts' bands where the entire band performs simultaneously and broadcasts a mosaic of barely-recognizable tiny video screens with every student playing. "Students voted almost unanimously against what has become the typical virtual band performance video," said Steck.

Instead, students in Woodland's bands recorded themselves playing their parts individually while playing along with rehearsal tracks. After recording each part, the students submitted their recordings to be compiled with their classmates in a single performance. “Rather than video of the students playing, students had the option of submitting fall images, Halloween holiday pictures, silly selfies, or band memes,” explained Steck. "The result is a pair of band concerts unique to Woodland that still maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID."

Arranging the dozens of individual musical tracks into a single recording required a lot of effort from both students and teachers. "There was a steep learning curve figuring out how we could all perform together while remaining socially distant," explained Steck. "However, our band students sound amazing and I'm so proud of everything that we have been able to accomplish these last couple of months in the music department.”

You can listen to and watch the performances on YouTube at the following links:

Learn more about how Woodland Public Schools educates our students and serves the community, by visiting our dedicated news webpage at www.woodlandschools.org/news/wsd 

Stay informed with the latest updates about the eventual transition from remote learning to in-person learning and more about COVID-19 at Woodland Public Schools’ dedicated website: www.woodlandschools.org/covid-hq