Pandemic restrictions create both difficulties and opportunities for campus musicians

Music majors on the St. Olaf campus have had to adjust to a series of obstacles amid the pandemic. During the quarantine period, music majors had to practice in their rooms in the presence of their roommates. Even in the current reopening period, there are barriers to practicing.

Composition major Adam Pazandak 23 described his experience with the new practice room policy.

“It’s harder to find a time when you’re available to practice when the slots are taking up such a big chunk of the day,” Pazandak said. “I wouldn’t necessarily suggest people practice less, but something needs to happen.”

Speaking more generally about being a music student in the pandemic, performance major Lacy Williams ’21 said, “This semester as a music student is, in one word: the Minnesota ‘interesting.’” 

Despite these challenges, some musicians on campus have seen this pandemic and the free time and solitude it has provided as an opportunity to create and improve. Markian Romanyshyn ’23 has used quarantine as a chance to create a solo album. 

“Music has helped me cope with the pandemic, and it’s kind of an expression of my coping too,” Romanyshyn said. “It’s been an outlet to evaluate what I need for myself emotionally and also express it artistically.” 

Music and the arts on campus are as important as ever. As Williams said, “Music is our beacon of hope right now in our two pandemics we are facing. We are able to come together for causes bigger than ourselves and fight for equality as well as being able to come together doing what we love!”