UNCG School of Music

Revised 9/8/2020

Please understand that our knowledge of COVID-19, how it is spread, and best practice in mitigating issues related to the spread change continually. Updates to this guide are likely.

We are hopeful for a safe and long anticipated return to UNCG, and to the School of Music in particular. These guidelines and protocols have been developed utilizing the best information we have on hand, but recognize no amount of preparation can guarantee absolute safety during this time.

All guidelines and protocols have been developed, approved, and finalized in discussion with UNCG Health and Environmental Safety Office and infectious disease specialist/epidemiologist, Karen Hoffman.

For definition within this document—”aerosol-producing” refers to singing and the playing of wind instruments. Please refer to general UNCG protocols and requirements for anything not listed here.


General Building Use

  • Face coverings that cover the nose and mouth must be worn by all students, faculty, staff, and visitors while inside a University building. This includes all in-person classrooms, practice rooms, libraries, auditoriums, and common areas.
  • Entrances, hallways, and staircases will not be converted to one way only. Students, faculty, staff, and visitors will exercise proper social distancing and not congregate in corridors or entrances/exits. The lone exception to this is the Instrument Storage Locker Area. Students should follow directional signs in this space. 
  • Classrooms have been set according to maximum capacity utilizing 6 ft distancing.
  • It is expected that at the end of each class, students will wipe down the desk and chair they used with provided wipes.
  • Student Lounge (Music 118) capacity is set at a maximum of four (4) occupants.
  • Faculty/Staff Lounge (Music 340) capacity is set at a maximum of four (4) occupants.
  • Posted room capacities must be strictly followed at all times.

Shield Our Spartans - Face Covering

Face Covering

Hand Washing

Social Distance

Spartans Together

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Classrooms

All classrooms will operate at a reduced capacity. Maximum occupancies will be posted and are listed below to allow for approximate 6 ft/9ft spacing of students and instructors. To allow maximum time for the dispersion of aerosolized particles, we ask that students and faculty:

  • Vacate classrooms/studios as soon as possible at the conclusion of rehearsals, classes, or lessons using appropriately labeled door (where possible).
  • When possible, allow time for rooms to be completely empty for an extended period between events. 
  • Please do not congregate in hallways before or after classes.
  • Posted room capacities must be strictly followed at all times.

Room NumberMax Capacity
116 (Computer Lab)12
2076
21732
22116
22315
22410
2268
23515
24518
2718

Room NumberMax Capacity
100 (Tew Recital Hall)80
11020
11124
115C7
1384
1404
14610
15410
201 (Organ Hall)20

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Computer Lab (Music 116)

The computer lab will be open daily. Please check the lab door for hours, as they may be variable.

Please leave one empty work station between yourselves at all times. Follow posted protocols regarding wiping keyboards, mice, and other accessories.

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Practice Rooms

  • If at all possible, do not practice in the building. Seek out larger and safer places. Consider practicing at home if this is an option.
  • Music stands are not provided. Students should bring their own.
  • There may be only one (1) person in a room at a time.
  • Practice sessions are limited to one (1) hour maximum. Practice rooms must be vacant for 30 minutes between sessions to allow for air exchange. 
  • Individual practice time will be restricted to a maximum of four (4) sessions per day. 
  • Upon arriving and leaving students are required to clean and disinfect all surfaces, paying close attention to the keyboard, door handles, chair, and piano bench. Close the door behind you when you leave. (See information below regarding proper cleaning procedure for keyboards.)
  • All rooms must be reserved in advance. Bookings may be made a maximum of two weeks in advance. Additional times will be made available weekly on Monday mornings.
  • Practice rooms may be reserved between 6:00 am and 11:00 pm. Assume an empty practice room has been reserved.
  • Availability has been offset by one half hour to allow for air exchange throughout the practice area.

Reservation Instructions

  1. Visit the School of Music Reservations page.
  2. Click the “Practice Rooms” tab found near the top of the page.
  3. Choose a grouping of rooms (106, 107, 108, or 109). Click individual room names to view availability. The combined calendar may be used as a guide.
  4. Select an available slot by clicking the gray box on the date and time you wish to reserve.
  5. Click “Save” in the dialog box to formally reserve your time. An email confirmation will be generated and the practice session will be added to your UNCG Google Calendar.
  6. If you have reserved a practice room and are no longer able to use it, please release the hold by clicking “No” in your email confirmation (see below) or by simply deleting/canceling the event in your iSpartan Google Calendar. This will return the slot to the room schedule and allow another student to reserve it.
    Practice Room Reservation

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Private Lessons and Rehearsals

  • All students should wear a mask during private lessons and rehearsals.
  • Wind players (except flutists) will be issued special face coverings for use during performance — these will be available from your studio professor.
  • Flutists should wear face coverings while in rehearsal or performances, but may remove them while playing. Consider keeping a mask under the chin or around the neck and placing it over the nose and mouth during rests or breaks in playing.
  • Most wind players will be issued bell covers to assist in reducing aerosol spread — these will be available from your studio professor.
  • Brass players will have disposable “puppy pads” available for their use in faculty studios and rehearsal halls. No water will be expelled onto floors or common surfaces.
  • Tables have been set up near Room 328 to facilitate the assembling of instruments prior to private lessons; students are expected to take empty cases to lessons and then bring everything back to tables for packing away. Please do not leave unattended items in this area.
  • No air should be forced through the instrument or its parts to expel water—blow gently.
  • Extreme care should be used to clean waterlogged keys (i.e., blowing out tone holes).
  • Instrument swabs should be handled with care.
  • No instrument reeds should be shared.
  • No instrument mouthpieces should be shared.
  • Aerosol minimization strategies for pieces requiring extended techniques should be discussed with the course instructor.

The following are offered as guides for private lesson delivery. Each teacher may work with students in a manner that seems safest and best for all involved.

It is strongly suggested that all lessons be limited to 30 minutes of face-to-face time. It is further suggested that there be a minimum of 30 minutes between students to allow for air circulation in the studio. Faculty members may stay in offices during the 30 minutes of down time, if desired, but please keep doors closed to assist in air return rates being maintained.

Lessons may be part video submission, part face-to-face interaction, or any combination of scheduling that works best for safety of all involved.

Wind and Voice studios will be issued HEPA air purifiers to assist with air cleaning, due to higher rates of aerosol emitted during performance by students. Wind, Voice, and Piano studios will be issued a 4 ft x 8 ft clear barrier to place between faculty and student to help mitigate droplet spread.

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Recitals

For Academic Year 2020/2021, all recitals will be booked in Tew Recital Hall. There will be no Organ Hall recital bookings for Academic Year 2020/2021.

General Recital Booking Guidelines for Academic Year 2020/2021

Recital Type Days and Times Allowed
Non-degreeTuesday–Thursday: 5:30 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 11:30 am
351-level required recitals
Music Education recital
Tuesday–Thursday: 5:30 pm
Friday: 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30pm
451/651/751-level required recitalsTuesday–Thursday: 5:30 pm
Friday: 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm
Faculty/Guest Artist/Alumni Recitals
Faculty-Led Chamber Events
Tuesday–Thursday: 5:30 pm
Friday: 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm
Saturday–Sunday: 11:30 am, 1:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 7:30 pm

All other events are subject to booking approval.

Dress Rehearsal Time in Tew Recital Hall and Organ Hall

Due to the increased number of events and classes in Tew Recital Hall this academic year, all rehearsal time will be scheduled in the Organ Hall with the exception of up to one (1) hour to be scheduled in Tew Recital Hall, depending on the type of recital presented (see below).

Recital TypeRehearsal Locations and Time
Recital appearances
(15 minutes of music or less)
30 minutes Organ Hall (warm-up in Tew Recital Hall only)
Half recital (approximately 30 minutes music)1 hour Organ Hall (warm-up in Tew Recital Hall only)
Full recital (Undergraduate)1 hour Organ Hall
1 hour Tew Recital Hall
Full recital (MM)3 hours Organ Hall
1 hour Tew Recital Hall
Full recital (DMA)5 hours Organ Hall
1 hour Tew Recital Hall

Please Note – Booking preference will be given to students who are preparing for upcoming recital events over those who are booking the halls for personal use purposes. Every effort will be made to accommodate as many requests as physically possible; however, please remember space will be limited during mid-to-late portions of both Fall and Spring semester. Thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding with this situation.

If you have questions about booking your recital/events in Tew Recital Hall or rehearsal time, please contact Dennis Hopson (Music 167, 336.334.5164).

Visit the School of Music Reservations site to review calendars and submit a request online.

Live-Streaming

Seating for concert patrons in Tew Recital Hall will be limited due to social distancing measures. In order to maximize potential audiences and stay connected with families, all recital events will be live streamed via CVPA Live.

Audiences

Under Executive Order 163, North Carolina moves to Safer At Home Phase 2.5 of lifting COVID-19 restrictions at 5:00 pm on Friday, September 4. As such, recital audiences must be limited to no more than twenty-five (25) patrons.

Recital Programs

In an effort to reduce contact, recital programs will be made available online (PDF) for those who would prefer to view them on a tablet or smartphone. Ten (10) printed copies will be provided to the recital presenter for archival purposes.

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Student Groups

Student groups will not be able to reserve space in the School of Music during the Fall 2020 semester. A decision will be made at a later date regarding when reservations will resume.

Student organization leaders are required to attend a virtual training before hosting events during the 2020-2021 Academic Year. The training provides detailed information about programming expectations including social distancing guidelines, space utilization, event registration, catering guidelines, community service protocols, and staff support.

The majority of campus events will be held virtually. In-person events and meetings must be approved by the student organization Advisor and the Office of Campus Activities & Programs. All programs must be submitted in Spartan Connect. For those events that receive special permission to be held in person, organizers will be responsible for ensuring the event does not exceed allowable size and follows the safety protocols. Virtual platforms should be the first consideration when planning meetings.

For complete guidelines, please consult the Campus Activities and Programs Student Expectations Guide (PDF).

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Chamber and Conductorless Ensembles

Instructional Delivery

Chamber ensembles will be limited to a maximum of 30 minutes per rehearsal or coaching session. Each room used will have a mandatory 30 minute “down time” for air exchange. Coaches will meet with assigned groups for a maximum of 30 minutes per each coaching session. Coaches may determine if there will be face-to-face or virtual coaching sessions with each assigned group. Every effort will be made to allow face-to-face coaching sessions to happen in large rehearsal rooms, and to afford as much time in larger spaces for rehearsals, including classrooms.

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Conducted Choral Ensembles (Young, Coehlo, Nolker)

  • All conducted ensembles will begin the semester online.
  • No music stands are provided.
  • Maximum capacities of the Large Rehearsal Halls (Music 110, 111, and 154) were set using a 9 feet distancing

Instructional Delivery

The ensemble directors have convened in meetings on a regular schedule from March 15 – May 31, and on an “as needed” schedule throughout the summer to discuss the latest research on the novel Corona virus and its impact on curriculum delivery in the choral ensembles. Central to any discussion has been the health and safety of our students, directors, and accompanists. The latest data outlined by the University of Colorado study, released on July 13, focused on aerosol dispersion and ventilation requirements. Our rehearsal spaces, particularly the frequency of use, ventilation, and some sanitizing protocols, do not meet the guidelines outlined in the study. We have decided the best course of action is to delay in-person rehearsals for Chamber Singers, University Chorale, and Spartan Voices for several weeks. During this period of time we will engage students through a variety of online activities and individual or small group meetings (either F2F or virtual) in synchronous and asynchronous modules. We will be coordinating with graduate students to assist with instruction. We will continue to monitor aerosol research, community spread off- and on-campus, and the ongoing school and university adjustments to mitigation processes. A continued and robust response will allow us to gather and make music safely.

Auditions

We have expanded our online audition process. Over the past 3 years we have required all returning students to audition online. Students new to the School of Music and choral singing at UNCG were required to audition in person. We now ask ALL MM, BM, BME, BA, and minors with a vocal emphasis or taking private lessons to audition online. Further, any university student interested in singing in University Chorale or Chamber Singers must also audition online. Ensembles are assigned based on the audition process. If you have freshmen or new transfer students in your studios, please check with them that they did follow the audition process. Last year we had about 15 music majors/minors that were advised, not by us, to just sign up for Spartan Voices. Spartan Voices is open to university students not mentioned in the information above without an audition.

Repertoire, Section Rotations, Performances

Should face-to-face rehearsal options become feasible and safe, the choral ensembles will be divided into smaller groups no larger than 12 singers in compliance with distancing recommendations outlined for choral singing and the size and ventilation of rehearsal spaces. All singers, accompanists, and directors will be masked at all times during any face-to-face interaction.

Determining repertoire and a rotation of small groups that equitably serves all students will be tremendously difficult. However, programming of diverse repertoire from a wide variety of cultural and social perspectives will continue to be important to best serve our students. Currently, we are working on ways to pre-record performances for virtual choir and streaming delivery. Our rehearsal times will also be used in preparation and anticipation of face-to-face small group rehearsals and performances, i.e. live or streamed.

Choir – Logistics

Of course, with limited numbers in all assigned spaces, rehearsals will be a challenge. When rehearsals begin, safety guidelines require that we limit rehearsal time to 30 minutes in order to ventilate the rehearsal rooms. Two of the rooms assigned to Chamber Singers are classrooms which pose particular spacing, sanitizing, and ventilation issues. Drs. Young, Coelho, and Nolker will communicate a schedule to allow for a variety of ensemble constituents in groupings of no more than 12 members. All choral ensembles meet TR 12:30–1:45. University Chorale and Chamber Singers also meet F 1:00–1:50.

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Conducted Instrumental Ensembles (Geraldi, Caldwell, MacLeod, Jones)

  • All conducted ensembles will begin the semester online.
  • No music stands are provided.
  • Maximum capacities of the Large Rehearsal Halls (Music 110, 111, and 154) were set using a 9 feet distancing

Instructional Delivery

This summer, we have spent a great deal of time considering how the health and safety of our students will be impacted relative to the data regarding aerosol dispersion and how our rehearsal spaces do not meet the guidelines outlined in the recently released University of Colorado report. With health and safety as our primary concern, we have decided the best course of action is to delay in-person rehearsals with Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, and University Band for several weeks. During that time, we will engage the students with online activities and asynchronous modules, while carefully monitoring the virus situation and aerosol research. We will be coordinating with graduate students to assist with instruction.

During this period of delayed in-person instruction, we hope to see a reduction in community spread, more research regarding instrumental aerosols, and more robust mitigation efforts in our rehearsal spaces—all of which will allow us to gather and make music safely. We will regularly work together to reevaluate our situation to make the best possible decision for all involved while keeping the health and safety of our students as our top priority.

String players in Symphony Orchestra (USO) and Sinfonia will begin rehearsals on August 31, but for shorter periods of time based on the recommendations found in the University of Colorado study. We will use two rehearsal locations in smaller configurations to keep more students musically engaged, safe, and healthy. Face coverings will be mandatory.

Ensemble Placements

When we can resume in-person rehearsals with wind players, social distancing will limit the number of students who can participate at any given time. In more normal circumstances, a wind section would be assigned to USO. Assuming some “double-duty” in Wind Ensemble, the section would look like this:

3 fl, 3 ob, 3–4 cl, 3 bsn / 5 hn, 3 tpt, 3–4 trb, 1 tuba

Since the maximum recommended capacity in Room 111 is 20 people and with 9-foot spacing between students, assigning that many winds to USO does not make sense. At best, repertoire that utilizes an extremely small number of winds is all we could possibly do. For example, if a piece called for a Classical era section of 2222/2200, there would only be space for 8 string players if we used the full capacity of the room. For perspective, there are typically roughly 40 string students registered for USO.

Given these logistical parameters and considering health and safety, only string students will be placed in USO and Sinfonia. All winds and brass will be placed into one of the three bands. This decision was not reached without considerable deliberation and discussion. Many of our peer institutions are following this approach as well. Later in the semester, individual students assigned to Wind Ensemble (who agree to this commitment) may be rotated to specific USO repertoire projects involving small numbers of winds. This would be a minimal number of students—no more than 1 or 2 per instrument, and it would not involve all instruments.

We realize that this will likely be disappointing to students who value placement into USO. In our current situation, however, the normal distribution of students doesn’t make sense from a pedagogical, logistical, or health perspective.

Repertoire, Rotations, and Performances

Determining repertoire and a rotation that equitably serves all students will be tremendously difficult. As we have in the past, we will do our best to serve students by programming diverse repertoire that includes a wide variety of perspectives. However, our options are extremely limited based on time, space, and existing repertoire.

We are currently working on ways to pre-record performances for streaming over the internet. We do not anticipate live performances, either streamed or with an in-person audience.

Bands – Logistics

Serving our students who play wind instruments with limited space is a significant challenge. The bands’ access to secondary rehearsal spaces is problematic because of scheduling. Every effort is being made to offer as much secondary space as is possible.

When rehearsals begin, safety guidelines will require that we limit rehearsal time to 30 minutes in order to ventilate the rehearsal room.

  • Symphonic Band: 1:00–1:30 pm
  • Wind Ensemble: 2:00–2:30 pm and 3:10–3:40 pm
  • University Band: 4:15–4:45 pm

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Jazz Ensembles (Eby, Heflin)

  • All conducted ensembles will begin the semester online.
  • No music stands are provided.
  • Maximum capacities of the Large Rehearsal Halls (Music 110, 111, and 154) were set using a 9 feet distancing

Instructional Delivery

This summer, we have spent a great deal of time considering how the health and safety of our students will be impacted relative to the data regarding aerosol dispersion and how our rehearsal spaces do not meet the guidelines outlined in the recently released University of Colorado report. With health and safety as our primary concern, we have decided the best course of action is to delay in-person rehearsals with Jazz Ensembles I/II and small jazz combos. During this time, Jazz Ensembles I/II will be doing intense stylistic analysis of specific repertoire from historically significant ensembles with assignments geared toward replication of those styles, while carefully monitoring the virus situation and aerosol research. Small jazz combo procedures are currently being worked out with guidance to come.

During this period of delayed in-person instruction, we hope to see a reduction in community spread, more research regarding instrumental aerosols, and more robust mitigation efforts in our rehearsal spaces—all of which will allow us to gather and make music safely. We will regularly work together to reevaluate our situation to make the best possible decision for all involved while keeping the health and safety of our students as our top priority. Our re-evaluation date to consider in-person rehearsals will be October 1.

Ensemble Placements, Repertoire, Performances and Rehearsals

*For Fall 2020, only jazz studies majors and PBCs will be permitted to register for Jazz Ensemble I, Jazz Ensemble II, and small jazz combos.

Placement in Jazz Ensembles I and II will be equitably split between all registered jazz studies majors. There will be no formal jazz ensemble auditions in Fall 2020. Should there be an opportunity to begin some semblance in-person rehearsals, performances, or projects, groups will be split into combo-size ensembles and repertory selected accordingly.

We are currently working on practical ways to pre-record performances for streaming over the internet. While we do not anticipate live performances, either streamed or with an in-person audience, we are not as yet ruling it out as an option.

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