In the wake of state orders to cancel in-person learning the Hillsdale music department and the departments of theatre and dance will either cancel or postpone all end of the year performances.
Choir, orchestra, and jazz concerts will be canceled for the remainder of the year as students are unable to rehearse due to the state’s ban on in-person classes. The theatre department’s performance of “J.B.” and the Tower Dancers December performance are postponed until January.
Music ensemble rehearsals had already been canceled a week prior to the governor’s order due to the sudden increase in COVID-19 cases on campus.
“We had clear information about students who had tested positive, there was contact tracing, there were students who were symptomatic, there were students who self-isolated due to symptoms,” said James Holleman, chairman of the music department. “The numbers just kind of spoke to us.”
“I try not to think about it as much as I can so I can enjoy the music. It’s just a part of the daily life in the world right now,” added junior violinist Peter Kalthoff.
The performance of “J.B.” had also already been pushed back since three of the fourteen cast members were quarantined.
“Currently the plan is to hold over the set and costumes for “J.B.” and open it the first or second week of classes in January,” said James Brandon, chairman of the theatre and dance department.
“I hate to say we’re not losing anything — because we are losing quite a bit — but our intention right now, is if everything is open, then we will get everything in that we were supposed to do this semester, next semester,” he said.
The Tower Dancer’s who would have performed on Saturday, Dec. 5, have postponed their performance as well. About one-third of the performers had been quarantined, said Assistant Professor of Dance Holly Hobbs, who is also the director of dance and the Tower Dancers.
“We’ve decided to funnel the dance that we would have presented, into our April concert. So we’ll just have a few extra dances than normal,” said Hobbs.
The process of creating music was still worth it, Holleman said.
“We still grew together, we still explored music together, we still rehearsed together, we still did what students wanted to do by coming back to campus and being together,” said Holleman.
Students said that they don’t feel that the work they put in during the semester went to waste, even though it won’t culminate in a performance.
“We’ve still been showing up regularly, if we don’t have a concert then it was still beneficial for us,” said junior Ellen Hancock, who sings in the choir. “It would maybe be a loss for the public, who really enjoy the concerts, and the attendees who don’t get to come.”
Kalthoff remains optimistic.
“I try to not let it bother me a lot because it just detracts from the beauty of the performing arts, and I wouldn’t want the audience to feel anything but relief,” Kalthoff said.