When this pandemic began to shut everything down back in March of 2020, schools of music were no exception. Live music stopped, music school students returned home, and we were left to figure out how to create music virtually; at a time when music was needed the most. Now, on the dawn of a vaccine horizon, we are again trying to figure out our next steps. Although I am not able to offer answers to the scientific questions surrounding musicians and the pandemic, I am able to offer my own experiences with performing chamber music during the pandemic, in the hope that some of my success and failures can help current and future Illinois music students navigate these crazy times and bring music back to our community… safely!
My experience in chamber music during the pandemic has been grounded in my work as a founding member of The Goodwin Avenue Trio, an all graduate clarinet trio that was founded in August of 2020. Yes, this ensemble was formed in the midst of the darkest times in the pandemic! I say this only to prove that it can be done! Chamber music does not have to stop. With that said, I offer a few suggestions to launch a new chamber music ensemble during these trying times:
In closing, there are several individuals that deserve a huge thank you for making chamber music possible this academic year. First of all, thank you to Professor Barry Houser and the team of U of I experts that are helping to guide the COVID safety precautions for musicians. Additionally, thank you to Nathan Mandel, Dr. Linda Moorhouse, Chad Wahls, and the entire School of Music Operations team for their constant support in working out the very challenging logistics of chamber music rehearsals during the pandemic!