Published: Jan. 21, 2021

COVID-19 safety demoHappy New Year and welcome back, all College of Music students, faculty, staff and community members! 

Spring semester is fully underway and fully remote as we continue our commitment to being a COVID-19-aware college and campus. While we’re entirely online for the first month of this semester, we look forward to resuming mixed mode instruction next month. That is, courses designated as in-person or hybrid in-person for the spring semester will begin their in-person format on Feb. 15. Courses designated as remote or online will continue in those formats for the entire semester. 

Masks + distancing

After months of consulting with researchers and other campus units, I’m pleased to inform you that the 12’ minimum distance for aerosol instruments (voice, winds, brass) has been reduced to 8’, aligned with the minimum distance for non-aerosol instrumentalists. Bassoon and trombone players are required to follow a 9’ minimum of social distancing. 

All performers must continue to wear masks and (where applicable) use bell covers. Our use of masks and bell covers in combination with distancing, along with ongoing research, is what has led campus experts to feel confident that our move to an 8’ distance is safe. 

That means more of our students will be able to rehearse in physical spaces than before. And some chamber groups have more options now, too. More generally, well-fitting masks are required in indoor and outdoor public places campus-wide; it’s the personal responsibility of each one of us to keep our community safe. 


No student recitals will be held in the first month of the Spring 2021 semester; however, Faculty Tuesdays recitals will continue. On Feb. 15, we’ll tentatively resume in-person performances in a mix of livestreamed and pre-recorded events. 

[Scheduling a recital this semester (March 1 or later)? Interested in reserving a recital space for the Fall semester? Click here.] 

Although we continue to work within necessary restrictions, every change toward the better moves us forward. Your unabated efforts to create and collaborate – at a time when many music units across the country have put much of their activities on hold – are nothing short of inspiring. Your resilience, your flexibility and your passion for making music together transcend many of the struggles unfolding around us. 

The future, faster

While these are uncertain times and the future seems equally uncertain, COVID-19 has pushed us to leverage technologies in impactful ways that will surely outlast this pandemic – through distance learning, collaboration and performing, we’ve risen to the challenge. We’re not only expanding the reach and range of what’s possible as artists and performers, we’re also adding to our students’ skill sets, and paving the way toward greater diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in everything we do. 

Put another way, COVID-19 has accelerated our momentum to leverage various technologies in ways that elevate College of Music offerings. Despite a challenging environment, the college’s continued level of excellence – and evolving, newly emerging academic activities and performance platforms – make me incredibly proud. Thank you.

Wishing you good health and a successful semester,

John S. Davis
Dean, College of Music

Reminders + resources: