Winter art, band, and chorus shows at Malvern

After months of preparation, Malvern’s art, band, and chorus students prepare for a concert like no other.

Ben Franzone, Friar's Life Editor

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s winter concerts and art shows must be done virtually, with no in person attendance allowed. 

In the spirit of the 2020 season, the Winter art and band concerts and shows have all been cancelled for in-person attendance. This year, the band and choir will have pre-recorded presentations, while the visual arts have prepared slide shows that will be sent out to the Malvern community. 

“We’re working with Billy Mullray from the TV studio to create a video. We’re going to put on a virtual finished product, so we’re recording each one of our ensembles to squeak in next week,” Mr. Emanuel DelPizzo, Music Director, said.

Since there will be no in-person performances, DelPizzo also says that there will also be a few more changes to come. 

“We are scaling back with things, like we normally rent tuxedos for a Christmas concert, we’re not doing that. We’re also trying to keep the social distance. We’re going to do it here [band room] so you’re all sitting and playing [apart],” DelPizzo said. “We’re going to record it here, dress it up a little, a little bit more casual dress, that sort of thing,” he continued.

In a typical year, the band, choir and all other musicians would have two concerts to celebrate their hard work making music. 

“We would [pre-pandemic] have two concerts, one concentrating on mostly instrumental music, and the other one would be concentrating mostly on vocals,” DelPizzo said. 

As for Mr. Edward Liga Upper School Choral Director he doesn’t feel that the performance will be that much different. 

“Well, we’re just recording, we’re all together. So not much different than an in person concert,” Liga said. “We’re here in the [choir] room, it’s just not on stage.”

Even though the musicians will be able to perform in a pre-recorded concert, Liga thinks that there could be some positives that come out of the new situation. 

“It’s less pressure, but the really nice thing is that we’re all here and we have been all here since September. All the ensembles have been working here together, so that’s why we’re able to get some songs together,” Liga said. 

Right now, there are no plans completely set in stone and both the music teachers still have a few details to iron out.

 “We’re processing it out, I really don’t know what it’s gonna look like. But we’re in the process of just getting the raw recording,” DelPizzo said.

Liga says that he expected there would be a good chance that they would not be able to have an in person concert, but he really just wanted to make the kids happy.

“My biggest thing is I don’t want to disappoint the guys, get their hopes up to do stuff,” Liga said.

Along with Liga, DelPizzo also thought that an online concert was a possibility. 

“We’ve learned with this virus that nothing’s set in stone, so it wasn’t that we expected it, but we sure knew it could be a reality,” DelPizzo said. 

When performing a recorded concert, as opposed to a live one, there are many changes and challenges that can pop up. 

“When you do things live, you get away with a lot more inaccuracy. When you record something, it’s much more important to get it as perfectly as you can,” DelPizzo said. “Our eyes and our ears can lie to us in live performances, mistakes kind of just fly by,” he continued. 

DelPizzo hopes that even though there will be no live in person performance, the recording will be just as uplifting during the holiday season. 

“I just hope that everybody has a great Christmas and hopefully they’ll get some joy from our performances. We’ve been working hard at it, and trying to overcome things day by day,” DelPizzo said.

Prior to the decision to cancel the in person concerts, the visual arts teachers decided to move the annual art show to an online version. 

Ms. White, ninth grade Academy Leader and member of the visual arts team, has been teaching Studio Art at Malvern for over twenty-five years. She explains the thought process of making the decision to move to an online art show. 

“As we realized all the stuff we had to get together, we decided we would bring the art show to them [Malvern community] instead of making them come to us,” White explained. 

The visual art program at Malvern has decided to create a Google slideshow which compiled each of the various art classes’ creations. These slideshows will be sent out to the entire Malvern community. 

White also explained how the visual arts department did this same slideshow method at the end of the last term and it seems to have worked. 

“We thought about [an in person art show] for a fleeting minute, but then we realized it would not be possible,” White said.

After taking into consideration all of the close contact work that goes into the show and the close quarters an art show typically has, White says that all of the visual arts teachers were in agreement that a slideshow was the best way to go. 

When talking about some positives that came with the online slideshow, White said, “You can get up close and personal, it’s like your standing right there.”

Even though the show will be different, White found that being able to zoom in close to the art as well as being able to go back to see the artwork at a later date were both positives from the online experience. 

“In a way [it was easier],” White said. “We would [normally] have to set up tables and display it up nicely, we would have to make sure we have enough space on the walls,” she continued.

While this experience is new to everyone, all three of these teachers have shown willingness to adapt to the times and feel confident that their students’ talents will still shine bright, even in an online setting.