After months of being unable to practice or perform together, the Notables are working to get back into the swing of things, while ensuring the safety of the singing group’s members.
Singing is more likely to spread a higher amount of particles than just talking, so the group has put several measures into place to minimize risk. Rehearsals occur with five students at a time, standing about fifteen feet apart, and using the entirety of a classroom. Practices are limited to less than half an hour. Before last March, the group would usually see up to twenty students around a piano for a total of three and a half hours each week.
Synchronous quintet singing allows for practicing with sectionals (five people of the same voice part), but an irregular schedule allows for occasional mixing. This practice not only improves the harmonization between voice parts but also brings the students closer together while physically keeping their distance.
One method Mr. Hightower plans to employ includes “singing masks,” specially manufactured masks structured to allow full range of motion in the face and jaw.
Notables Director Mr. Mark Hightower does his due diligence in keeping his students safe, but he recognizes some of the challenges presented by those regulations.
“It’s weird to sing with a mask on. It makes breathing harder, and singing is breathing,” Mr. Hightower said.
One method Mr. Hightower plans to employ includes “singing masks,” specially manufactured masks structured to allow full range of motion in the face and jaw. These masks, however, are currently on backorder due to high demand.
Mr. Hightower said, “The real test is trying to produce polished recordings.”
The music department has provided individual microphones for better sound during practice and for recording for future use. Students should be on the lookout for the possibility of a brand new album or something similar later this year.
“We’re more committed when we’re there because we know about our limitations.”Ben Fosnocht ’21
Social distancing makes staying together and timing a challenge, but not impossible. Sixth Form Co-President Ben Fosnocht noted the group’s ability to adapt.
“It’s definitely an adjustment,” Fosnocht said, “but I think the challenge is elevating us. We’re more committed when we’re there because we know about our limitations. We’re also taking this time to record ourselves, so I’m really looking forward to hearing the results.”