Are Jacobson Scholars worried about their performances being cancelled?

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Assortment of Musical Instruments (Photo/ VectorStock)

Nikita Bhardwaj, Print Opinions Editor

The Jacobson Music Scholar program at PDS was founded to honor the teaching career of Frank Jacobson, who taught music at PDS from 1967 to 2000. Mr. Jacobson created the program in 2000 to provide a course of study for students who are serious about music performance or composition and are intending to major or minor in music in college. Chosen by application and audition, the intent of the Jacobson Music Scholars Program is for students to participate throughout junior and senior year and to delve deeper into their music than they would in a typical orchestra or band class. The program culminates in a solo recital as the centerpiece of the students’ work in the program.

With the COVID-19 outbreak, students are questioning whether these solo recitals will take place. All the work that the dedicated Jacobson students have been pouring into their music may not end up having a physical manifestation. Jacobson Scholar junior Ritika Kumar describes her response to the questionable situation: “Honestly, I think that there is no way to know right now. [The Jacobson Scholars] are all still preparing as if we are going to perform and that is really the best that we can do.” This advice resonates for all of those whose work has been interrupted by the ongoing pandemic: keep on and hope for the best.

 Ritika continues, “I’m working on songwriting and figuring out how to use my looping board and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I hope that we get to perform, but I’m just having fun with the process of playing and experimenting with music right now! I’m learning how to record my own music so that I don’t have to go to the studio, and my goal is to post a couple of YouTube videos of my original songs. I’m trying to use this time to do the things that I’ve never had time to do before.” Ritika is clearly making the most of the bleak situation, staying productive, and doing what she loves. This is great advice for all of us as we move on to long-term remote learning; it’s important to maintain a positive attitude and stay safe, even as more and more things we were all looking forward to are canceled. Hopefully, the Jacobson Scholars will figure out a remote alternative that will allow the PDS community to appreciate the hard work they’ve been putting in all year while remaining safe and socially distanced at home!

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