‘Good for our souls’: After lockdown, IUS’ concert band is back


Erik Hackman

Director Philip Thomas leads the band during their practice on Sept. 23

Erik Hackman, Staff Reporter

After a year-and-a-half of waiting, the bands of Indiana University Southeast are making their comeback to the Ogle Center.

Now that IUS has allowed people back on campus while wearing masks, the performing arts are back to work.

“As you can imagine, working remotely doesn’t work well in music,” said Dr. Joanna Goldstein, the music department coordinator. “Our students and faculty were very anxious to get back.”

With safety being their first priority there are many new rules set in place, Goldstein said. Currently only one person is allowed in a practice room at a time. And when rehearsing, every wind instrument must have a cover on the end.

“We needed to make sure that people are safe,” Goldstein said. “We have wipes in every room, and, in some cases, we have glass partitions between the teacher and student.”

Now that the band is back to performing in person, they also are back to rehearsing in person.

The band is back to rehearsing every Thursday night as we used to,” said Philip Thomas, concert band director.

“Instead of rehearsing in our regular rehearsal room, which can be a tight squeeze for the band, we are rehearsing on the Stem auditorium stage,” he said.

Rehearsing and performing in the Stem Concert Hall allows the members to be more spread out to allow social distancing. They remove their masks when playing and put them back on when they are not.

“It has been pretty crushing for all musicians to not be able to perform together over the past year and a half,” Thomas said. “Our first rehearsal was very exciting to say the least, I told the band it was just as good for our souls as it was for our chops.”

After being locked in their homes for a year, the members are excited to be back performing and rehearsing.

“It already feels like we’ve been back at it for a year,” Christian Thomas, class of 2021, said. “We’re just getting back into the swing of things.”

Quarantine had made many of the members miss playing in a group they once enjoyed meeting with every Thursday, student musicians told The Horizon.

“I don’t really like playing on my own, I much prefer playing in a group of people,” Christian said. In order to rebuild their audience, the band program has made their shows free. Music fans can see the concert band perform for the first time this year on Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.