By Hannah Smith, Sept. 7, 2021

After a year and a half of pre-recorded and virtual concerts, music majors and professors are ready to bring back live music to the Cal Poly Pomona community with plans for outdoor performances.

Music students have gone back to in-person rehearsals and classes and now await news of when performances will be held with anticipation of being able to perform live again.

“I feel eager and excited,” said Ellen Shaw, a music composition student. “It’s definitely not going to look like what it did a year and a half ago, but having some sort of modified way of performing live is something that I’m really excited about.” 

Like many other departments restructuring curriculum and class formats, the Music Department has been deciding what concerts will look like this year. Music Department Chair David Kopplin commented on potential plans and the department’s new venue.

“We’re in the process of planning that now, but we’re probably going to do something here at the tent and we may do some outside concerts as well,” said Kopplin.

The tent is a new structure that has popped up in front of Centerpointe Dining Commons. Project Manager Martin Garcia shared that the 40 feet by 60 feet platform can hold 48 people on stage safely. 

The space will be used for rehearsals and performances for audiences to attend. These outdoor performances will be presented as open rehearsals with no ticket sales or formal seating. Performances this year will be held outdoors to ensure the safety of the musicians and audience members from COVID-19. 

“Musicians are really excited about playing, but I don’t think anybody wants to put anybody at risk,” said Kopplin. “People are very hesitant right now with the resurgence of the Delta variant.”

Savannah Tabor, far right, a civil engineering student, plays the euphonium at a Bronco Pep Band rehearsal with her fellow band members. (Hannah Smith | The Poly Post)

As the Music Department works on their performance schedule for the year, the Bronco Pep Band, a music performance club on campus open to all majors, has already brought back live music to campus. The Bronco Pep Band resumed in-person rehearsals once more and is ready to perform at campus events this year.

“The Bronco Pep Band is happy to be back and performing for the school again,” said Trevor Campbell, president of the Bronco Pep Band and theatre production and design student. “We’re excited to be back and bringing school spirit back.”

The Bronco Pep Band recently performed at a pep rally on Aug. 31 and will be performing at CPP volleyball games, which will be livestreamed on the campus athletics site. They will also be rehearsing outside the Bronco Arena Wednesday nights at 7 p.m. Students interested in learning more about the pep band can check out its Instagram account.

Though performances this year may look different, the Music Department is ready to provide live music once again to the Cal Poly Pomona community. The students and staff of the Music Department are ready to ensure a safe return to performances this year.

“Performing together is such a crucial aspect of music and having a team and people behind you is so important. To finally have that again is really rewarding and honestly kind of surreal,” said Shaw.

For more updates on performances or how to get involved with the Music Department check out the department’s website.

Feature image courtesy of Hannah Smith. 

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