Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's stated objective is to change young peoples' lives through music. During the COVID-19 pandemic, that’s a challenge. Music Director Troy Peters says all performances and even practices are suspended.
"But we have boatloads of musicians who are at home with their instruments and with the internet," he said.
YOSA Conductors can't be in the same room with students, so now they’re turning to video.
"Our conducting faculty is making a series of videos where they talk about various topics and introduce 'How to Practice Better' or 'How To Listen To Music Better,' and we're rolling those out gradually and offering the kids a chance to learn there," he said.
They're also doing something which may not increase students’ mastery of their instrument, but might increase their understanding of the world of music. And in the long run, of themselves.
“We're also hosting question and answer sessions through teleconferencing software, where musicians can get together with their conductors and learn more about their conductors, how they grew up, how they learn music themselves and have time to ask him those questions that they normally aren't able to do in rehearsal," Peters said.
A new social media channel will also feature on video the talents of student musicians in videos they shoot of themselves.
"We're going to start to feature more and more of our YOSA musicians, as performers on our social media challenge channels, and that'll be a neat chance to sort of shine a spotlight on them as soloists," he said. “We have some siblings who are playing things together in duets and trios.”
So, while it's not a performance in front of the public, they will be — in a sense — public performances. With COVID-19, YOSA and many other nonprofits are creating new ways to live up to their goals and objectives.