The St. Cecilia Instrumental Music Ensemble has approximately two to three seasons a year, in which they visit senior centers to perform. They practice multiple times to perfect their performances and prepare special events for the seniors that they visit. The instrumental ensemble is made up of fourteen students who play the violin, cello, and flute. Due to the pandemic, however, all of these opportunities to visit senior centers have been canceled for the safety of both students and seniors. The ensemble thought that the best way they could overcome these issues was to create videos for the seniors so that they could enjoy music during these difficult times. Brendan Seo, one of the presidents of the ensemble stated, “It has definitely been difficult to adjust to the new situation, but we are learning a lot from the experience. I am glad to still continue amidst the unfamiliar times.”
The conductor, Jin Yoo, decided that the most effective solution to this problem would be to make videos that could be sent to the senior centers or uploaded on Youtube. However, the video making process was not as easy as it sounded since the most important part of an ensemble is playing together. To make the procedure of combining individual parts easier, Mr. Yoo created audio recordings for the students to follow while they were filming. Joo worked hard to make sure the program continued, as he knew that the ensemble created joy for many, stating, “Due to the coronavirus, many changes have occurred during our daily lives. There are people who have been adapting to these situations well, but there are others who have not. I hope the music that the students have made spreads love and happiness to everyone who has a chance to listen.”
The ensemble has already finished recording five different pieces of music and is now hoping to put these songs into one video which can be delivered to seniors by online platforms such as YouTube. As a participant of this orchestra, playing the violin, I sent two of our recordingsm “Look at the World” and “Ave Verum”, to one of my relatives who is a throat cancer patient. He replied by saying, “The music really cheered me up and gave me hope for my recovery. [ The] performance was lovely.” The ensemble hopes that they will be able to spread the musical videos that they have created to give hope to many people during these challenging times.