Hybrid Orchestra Sections Combine for 100% In-Person Learning

Ruth Meehan, A&E Editor

On February 16, 2021, both the A and B hybrid sections at City High School combined due to a new Iowa law requiring schools to offer a fully in-person learning model. This caused the size of the City High Symphony Orchestra to almost double. Orchestra director Megan Stucky-Swanson said it was great to have both groups together.

“It was a breath of fresh air. Most of the groups didn’t have full instrumentation so filling out the sound and hearing the music we have been working on all year sound how it’s supposed to sound for the first time was very cool. It was nice for everybody to have a sense of this is what we’re doing, this is what it’s supposed to sound like and look at us for making music together.”

While this was an exciting time for Stucky-Swanson, it was also very exciting for her students.

“Everybody was just genuinely happy to see each other and for a lot of the students, these are friends they haven’t seen in person since last March. There was excitement and energy in the air and everybody was happy. I think it also came at a really good time because this is the time of year, people start to get a little bit less motivated. It’s a long stretch from winter break to spring break. This sort of broke things up a little bit and added a  bit of normalcy to everybody’s day,” said Stucky-Swanson. 

While having both sections is great, Stucky-Swanson says there are some things that have changed since the merger. 

“I mean it’s really nice to have everybody together and of course that’s what I would prefer. But I would say that each hybrid group the A’s and the B’s have their own personalities as a group and we had our own dynamic. That doesn’t really exist anymore but it was nice in a sense that I really got to know each individual student that was in each one of those pods.”

As the end of the second trimester is approaching, Stucky-Swanson said she is looking towards the end of the year and the possibility of a concert and recognition for the seniors in City High’s Orchestras. 

“We will work on new music for the third trimester in hopes of being able to have the ultimate goal of an outdoor concert in May. That is what I believe students, parents, and directors want. I also really want to be able to offer the seniors a bookend of this strange and uncomfortable year and be able to provide them one solid experience of them this year doing what we all love. That’s the goal.”