As we prepare to begin a new Spring session, I want to acknowledge that there are many things ‘in flux’ for us here at SCAA. The question that we (and your family alike) have asked ourselves is, ‘What will the Winter and Spring look like?’- and we are asking that here too.
As our faculty and staff planned the upcoming session, we have wrestled with a changing public health environment, conflicting mandates and community needs. We all need to remain healthy, we need to protect those who are most vulnerable and we need to hold close our arts instruction and social connections. Therefore, we will retain our heavily digital/virtual presence and we will continue to move forward offering hybrid in-person instruction with continued online components for select classes.
We know that consistent learning and celebration of our students’ budding talents is very important to their self-confidence and to their well being. We also understand that they need the contact with their friends in the SCAA ‘family’ so we will do our best to provide both. Depending on the rate of infection, this may be a ‘two step forward, once step back’ roll-out. We will be patient with our families’ needs and we hope that you will grant us grace as we too work to adapt to a dynamic environment.
“Okay, but will there be Spring performances?” you ask? In brief, it is too early to tell. Please know that we will be considering CDC and VA Department of Health guidelines and Shenandoah University policies as we think about in person performances for Spring. It may be possible, it may not be possible, it may look very different from years past and/or we might utilize a digital platform. We simply don’t know yet. As usual, we will honor our promise to you to provide superior performing arts instruction balanced with the needs of our patrons.
Current students and families: Thank you for having SCAA as guests in your homes the last few months. We have visited laptops and tablets in your kitchens, living rooms and basements. You may have had the delight of seeing the progress that typically only our teachers see in the classroom. We are grateful you have been able to watch the learning this session.
Finally, as I write this letter, we are approaching the holiday season. At SCAA it is typically filled with glitter and sequins, joyful learning and celebratory noise, open houses, songs, food, recitals and parades. This year will be much quieter; and simply put- we miss our students. We continue to look forward to a time when our classes are in person and filled to the brim with young performing artists. But in the meantime, we wish you, from the bottom of our hearts, a holiday season filled with patience, grace- but most of all- good health and continued well being.