Pandemic Reflections (Wichita State University)

By Lynne Davis

Contrary to some other schools, our «pandemic« year was almost normal apart from Spring 2020. That, of course, is when everything shut down and we taught remotely, and all the rest of our Rie Bloomfield Organ Series including the Wednesdays in Wiedemann series was cancelled.

Then from Fall 2020, we were back in almo normal mode with the complete concert series returning to live performances. The good thing about the pandemic, though, is that it gave us the opportunity of live-streaming all our live concerts (with masks and socially distanced), and it has continued this year as well. I even gave three of our organ majors the chance to perform during our half-hour Wednesdays in Wiedemann series, recording them for our YouTube organ channel and live-streaming the live audience concert.

Lessons and classes were in person with masks. Social distancing was easy to do in our Wiedemann recital hall with the great Marcussen organ.

Our pedagogy class produced a two-part video of over two hours at the request of the Wichita chapter of the AGO. This treated the subjects of registration and pedal technique. Registration was divided into three periods: early French, Bach and symphonic with the students explaining, showing and performing the pieces we chose as examples. Pedal technique was viewed through several basic “moves” including demonstrations by the students and a complete bibliography with exercises from a variety of organ methods.

The year included two junior organ recitals and one master’s recital with chances to test out their performances during the Wednesdays in Wiedemann series in front of a live audience.

This is the year now that seems like a let-down, curiously! There still will be two senior recitals next semester, though, so lots of important work to so!

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