The Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir has been making the best of their situations during a year that has brought many changes. Some differences that the University Choir experienced this year include having to remain masked during performances and breaking up into groups to sing. Normally, they would be together every day, but due to social distancing protocols, they have split into separate groups on different days. Additionally, as opposed to having them in person, they must record their recitals in a local church.
Even with the changes brought by COVID-19, Sophia Irvine, Travis Roh, and Trevor Linn have diligently worked to experience as much of a regular University Choir season as possible. Unfortunately, they have not been able to have in person performances or travel this past year, but they are still rehearsing and remaining optimistic, as expressed subsequently.
Sophia Irvine, a first-year biology major with minors in Spanish and business administration from Fort Calhoun, Nebr., is an Alto 1 in University Choir. This spring was Irvine’s first semester in University Choir. She was in the Chamber of Singers last semester, which is a female group. When asked why she decided to join University Choir, Irvine says, “I love music, and it was a way for me to be able to continue staying involved with music. [Music has] always been an escape for me. It is a great way for me to be able to stay involved in that and grow my skills.” Irvine loves how frequent University Choir meets and how it is a mixed group of people.
Travis Roh, a first-year acting BFA and communication studies double major from Abie, Nebr., is a bass/baritone in the University Choir. Roh says that he has “always loved singing…and when [he] got into high school, had a lot of fun in high school choir and show choir. I wanted to continue that throughout college.” One of Roh’s favorite parts is how excited everyone is to be there, which is shown by the dedication its members carry out, even during these socially distant times. Roh mentions, “It is fun learning new techniques that I have never learned before.”
Trevor Linn, a second-year history and philosophy double major from Cozad, Nebr., is a Bass 1 in University Choir. Linn decided to participate in University Choir because he had a scholarship to sing and he “liked the music and liked Tom [Trenney] as a director.” In a normal year, the University Choir would have in person performances, travel somewhere nationally to sing, and every four years they travel internationally. Linn misses these opportunities found in choir, and he remains hopeful and optimistic to return to a normal choir experience soon.
The choir has still found ways to get their music out to the public, even while facing the challenges COVID-19 has created for the group. These three University Choir members are all excited to continue with the process and hopefully get back to a sense of normalcy in the fall.