Student musicians in the Pacific University Symphonic Band are ecstatic to be back in the auditorium making music together. Despite feeling disconnected last year because of pandemic restrictions, coming back together feels as natural as ever.

“It feels really weird and surreal that we were away for a year and a half. But now that I’m back, it feels like we never had that [break],” said May Murakami-Smith, a senior trombone player double majoring in biology and Spanish. 

While the band was apart, students said they found it difficult to keep up a consistent practice schedule. It’s been an adjustment to strike up that routine again. Last year, practice wasn’t as necessary as now; rehearsing was more individualized since they only had to record their own parts. However, now that everyone is back together, practicing is critical for the success of the group, thus there is more incentive to work on individual parts.

“I not only have something I’m working toward, but something I’m working toward with other people. We’re all kind of relying on each other to put in that extra time and effort,” said Danny Canty, a senior alto saxophone player studying music education. 

Brock Malapit, a sophomore studying kinesiology who plays the trumpet, also expressed his delight in making music together again. For Malapit, being apart for such a long time during quarantine was a difficult experience.

“It’s a big help for me to come back and perform with actual people this time,” said Malapit. 

Although it is thrilling to be creating music again, there is still some apprehension that it could be taken away if COVID gets worse. Canty is trying not to take anything for granted, for it could be quickly taken away if things go south, as the virus is still looming over all of us.

The symphonic band is made up of students, faculty, and community members in Forest Grove. They play a wide variety of wind ensemble literature, from classic fundamental pieces to more contemporary ones.

Their first performance of the year is Saturday, November 20 in the Taylor-Meade auditorium at 7:30 pm. While it is currently uncertain if the band will be allowed to have a live audience, all students are hopeful that they can perform for the community. — Allison Wills

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Allison Wills is a sophomore and a writer for the Index. She plays the saxophone in the symphonic band at Pacific. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends, listening to music, and volunteering at the hospice.

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