CAPA returns in full swing with COVID-19 protocols


China Brown

The School of Creative and Performing Arts is coming up with new and effective ways to maintain the protocols in place.

As another COVID-19 school semester commences, faculty, staff and students seem to be returning to a sense of normalcy as best as possible.

This year, the Northwestern State University of Louisiana campus body and Natchitoches community will once again be able to enjoy the visuals of the Spirit of Northwestern Marching Band, the sweet sounds of choir and the pure skill of the

Northwestern State University Department of Theatre and Dance.

Still, there are federal and state protocols and guidelines in place as well as NSU’s own COVID-19 safety guidelines. The School of Creative and Performing Arts is coming up with new and effective ways to maintain the protocols in place.

“It isn’t ideal, it is gonna be a pain and it isn’t going to be perfect, but it means we get to play inside,” Daniel McDonald, assistant director of bands, said.

The school has implemented bell covers, musician masks and continues to enforce social distancing guidelines.

“The biggest change with the mandate is that this year it is just about wearing a mask inside, last year we had to space out,” McDonald said.

Now, the band places foggers in the room to filter the air. Peers, like Interim President Marcus Jones delivering Gatorade, have assisted with the comfort of the band transitioning through new protocols.

“We have been getting treated very well. We’re pretty much used to being able to adjust, we are just happy to be able to do what we do,” McDonald said.

Eli McFadden, a junior music education major, said, “It is a pain having to go into Prather with heat exhaustion wearing a mask and struggling to breathe.”

“As far as being on the field there really are no mask mandates and social distancing required as long as we are outside,” McFadden said.

“DMac has mentioned getting an EMS for us considering how hot it has been with us also having to wear masks,” McFadden said.
All departments are taking things one day and one week at a time, not knowing what the new spikes in COVID-19 cases will lead them.

One key adjustment is wind players, section leaders and certain sections are playing outside if they absolutely have to for safety.

Similar to the band, the choir and their director, Nicholaus Cummins have made remarkable adjustments by pushing the boundary with social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok.

Cummins said that it is their goal to show people that at NSU, the choir is still performing.

Working at tipping the scales toward the choir being more vocally successful with a mask, singer masks have been developed and implemented.

These aspects help with recruiting. Last semester, many concerts were virtual to prioritize the health of every individual and to follow guidelines.

“You have to be flexible and patient if you feel frustrated,” Cummins said.