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Musical Heartbeat of University Remains Strong Amidst Challenges

Purdue Bands and Orchestras

Despite logistical challenges, the sound of music can still be heard on the campus of Purdue University thanks to the persistence of Purdue Bands & Orchestras and Purdue Musical Organizations.


Each organization worked with the Protect Purdue committee to develop a plan for in-person rehearsals and performances throughout the fall. Live “pop-up” events have featured various ensembles performing in outdoor campus locations, ensuring the musical heartbeat of campus remains strong. Both Bands & Orchestras and PMO have also offered virtual opportunities for music lovers to enjoy live-streamed performances through platforms such as Facebook and YouTube.

Personal protection equipment and technology have helped make rehearsals and performances possible. Both organizations purchased special masks designed specifically for their respective modes of performance. Pocketed masks allow for the insertion of reeds and mouthpieces for instruments such as woodwinds and horns, while specially-designed “singer’s masks” prevent the spread of particles while still allowing for the freer breathing necessary to sing. PMO students also use face shields during rehearsals.

PMO also purchased a receiver system that can be worn in-ear by students during rehearsals. These receivers work in tandem with a sound system of microphones to allow students to hear themselves, directors and the piano, even in socially-distanced outdoor spaces. Previously implemented processes for distributing sheet music, reviewing and updating musical scores and checking individual mastery of music through various programs on Apple iPads have proven to be of value during this time as well.

University Choir Recording Session

Rehearsals have been a challenge, but each organization has taken advantage of outdoor venues while positioning musicians accordingly. Some Bands & Orchestras ensembles have had to rehearse and perform in a reduced capacity.

Student leaders have helped set the tone for each organization, providing guidance for younger students while adapting to changing circumstances.

“Our student leaders have done a fantastic job preparing for this semester while creating a supportive and engaged environment for our students to return to campus,” says William Griffel, director of Purdue Musical Organizations. “They really have found innovative ways to make student engagement a priority while also promoting a positive attitude during this challenging time.”

“Our student leaders have done a fantastic job preparing for this semester while creating a supportive and engaged environment for our students to return to campus.

PMO has also risen to the challenge to produce a virtual version of the Purdue Christmas Show, one of the most popular and longstanding holiday traditions at the University.

Bands & Orchestras and PMO plan to continue to perform on campus as well as provide additional live-streamed performances for music enthusiasts to enjoy virtually. To learn more about upcoming performances, follow each organization on their social media pages listed below.

  Follow Purdue Bands & Orchestras on Social Media

Bands & Orchestras on Facebook Bands & Orchestras on Instagram Bands & Orchestras on Twitter Bands & Orchestras on Youtube

  Follow Purdue Musical Organizations on Social Media

Purdue Musical Organizations on Facebook Purdue Musical Organizations on Instagram Purdue Musical Organizations on Twitter Purdue Musical Organizations on Youtube