Coronavirus impact on the PHS band and choir program
The Petaluma High School band and choir programs have been heavily impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Since the start of the lockdown, students have been unable to play with the whole band under band director Cliff Eveland, and many of their events have been canceled.
Social distancing has also forced the band program to cancel their trip to New York City along with their Saturday Night Bingo events for the remainder of the year.
The bingo games, which were organized by the PHS and Casa Grande High School music programs, are vital to the music programs of both CGHS and PHS. The games usually make $70,000 for both programs together annually. Without this funding, the band program will be even tighter for cash.
During quarantine, Mr. Eveland is still teaching the symphonic band, wind ensemble, jazz bands and choir through the app Smartmusic. Smartmusic allows students to record themselves playing different charts assigned and send them to the teacher. Mr. Eveland does not like the way the app behaves but acknowledged that there are no other alternatives. This system, plus assignments on music theory, seems to be the way the PHS music program is going to educate their musicians in these uncertain months.