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Music concerts and recitals venture to virtual world

September 28, 2020

Student musicians and vocalists at the University of North Georgia (UNG) will perform their regularly scheduled program this fall with a few adjustments.

Concerts and recitals featuring students and even a few professionals will be online. Most concerts will be prerecorded and broadcast through UNG's YouTube Channel. A select few will be livestreamed.

"We are trying to proceed as much as normal given the circumstances of the current health crisis and still give the students the opportunity to perform as if we were still face to face with a live audience," said Dr. Benjamin Schoening, professor and head of the Department of Music at UNG.

Currently, the university is encouraging social distancing to keep 6 feet away from others. In-person groups and meetings are also limited to 10 or fewer people who must practice social distancing. Students, faculty and staff are also required to wear masks inside all buildings and facilities.

Based on these rules, a performance with a live audience in the Gloria Shott Performance Hall in the Nix Fine Arts Center is not possible. The music department is filming the recitals and concerts from this location on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. A venue for the Gainesville Campus has yet to be determined.

"We are recording them like a live event," Schoening said. "When students get on stage, it is just like a live concert. We want our students to maintain that same intensity in their performance even though a live audience won't be there."

Schoening explained the concerts will be prerecorded to avoid technical issues. All recordings will occur about two weeks before the air date.

At least one student concert will keep its program live. The annual musical theater performance will be livestreamed with a few prerecorded segments interlaced in it.

"It will be a novel performance," Schoening said.

Another novel sight this fall will be the size of the choirs and bands. Due to social distancing and group gathering guidelines, all of the UNG bands and choirs have been downsized to smaller ensembles. This enables students to rehearse while social distancing and wearing masks.

"With this new configuration, we are performing as chamber ensembles," Schoening said. "This is actually good for the students, as we have more limited opportunities for chamber music under normal circumstances. This fall, we will."

Another change in the typical programming will be the timing. While all concerts will keep their 7:30 p.m. time slot, student general recitals have moved. Recitals will be released at 7:30 p.m. Sunday nights instead of noon Wednesdays and Fridays.

"This will make these recitals more accessible to the students' friends and family and the general public," Schoening said.

UNG students, faculty, and staff as well as the general public can access the recitals by clicking on links on the music department's webpage. For a complete list of concerts and recitals, visit the music department's webpage and click on upcoming events.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.
Please note that some of the images and videos on our site may have been taken before social distancing, face coverings and restricted gatherings were required.

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