Sports and the arts programs


Unless you have been living under a rock the past year-and-a-half, you are bound to notice some changes to the world. Some are more drastic than others, but it does not mean each one is impactful to a lesser extent than the last. 

COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives in some visible way. High school students have watched many of their favorite activities and events get cancelled, when too many have an invisible barrier they have to work around. The Arts programs being one of them.

Every year, the students participating in these programs work months on end, preparing performances and live shows that, in many cases, max out seating in the auditorium. However, this year we hear no music emitting from the stage. 

What we do hear is noises coming from the gym: the buzzer ending the basketball game, swimmers lifting in the weight room and busses rolling into the parking lot, bringing in students from other schools to participate in competitions for the yearly sports season.

Now the Arts sit around and wait for clearance to have a socially distanced recording day to send out to their parents. While on the opposite end, sports teams are lining up on game day with fans in the audience, cheering them on. If not at GlenOak, then at a neighboring competing school.

Governor Mike DeWine has told the state that there is a 15 percent capacity limit per event. If sports can have their fans, assuming these programs are following this statement, then Arts should be allowed this right as well.

The Arts programs have had a larger difficulty getting their own audience. However, teachers in the Arts have started to work around this issue. 

Strings director Dan Nauss had the idea in the fall to have a masked, socially distanced outside performance with two tickets per student. Chairs were set up around the plaza in front of the library, while the students stood up, clipped their music down on their stands and played their instruments as a group.

This was one of the ways to try and continue to bring the group together through the bonding experience of performing with classmates. Showing to their audience how well the group has been doing all together. 

Strings is not the only program at GlenOak trying to work to get an event in. Dance director Jaquenette Blaydes has seen this problem and is fighting for a performance for her students.

Blaydes explains how the Health Department has been guiding their classes, as well as every program in the Arts. She does not let restrictions stop her and her students from doing what they want to do though.

As well as working around restrictions, Blaydes is getting ready for a May performance, in the hopes that restrictions will be looser by the end of the year.

Teachers in the Arts programs have been fighting the constant battle of having their students get a complete and full experience of their programs. This has been hard with the pandemic, concerning safety as well as seeing other programs, such as sports, being able to function almost at complete normalcy. 

As the nation opens its doors again, students only hope to see more performances from every group at GlenOak in the coming future. Everyone has been working hard to cope with these changes the best they can.