Woodside is no longer participating in multiple music events due to district guidelines concerning the local spread of the novel coronavirus.
The announcement came just days before the district decided to transition to at home learning on Friday, and it was part of the first major series of cancellations to hit Woodside since the virus first reached San Mateo County on March 2. All “school assemblies, concerts, [and] performing arts events,” as well as field trips and long-distance travel, are no longer permitted to continue.
“We were going to have a spring concert,” Woodside sophomore and music student Brynn Adasiewicz described. “There was going to be a Music at the Park [event], and we were going to do a festival at Great America.”
The Reno Jazz festival was also canceled on March 10, disappointing many jazz band students who were set to participate.
“It’s all very overwhelming, since we need to get back our deposits that we [put in] for our trip, and we need to give back the chocolates that we were supposed to sell to make this trip possible,” sophomore and music student Alejandra Hernandez said. “It’s just been a lot.”
While students who take music classes at Woodside usually attend music-specific events, they also often perform in campus events such as rallies, campus games, and theater productions. Some students, like sophomore Sophia Baca, were scheduled to provide the background music for the spring musical.
“At least for the [members of the] pit, it’s very disappointing,” Baca commented. “We worked really hard to meet our deadlines and were very disappointed when it wasn’t going to happen.”
Prior to the official cancellation email from Principal Burbank, Woodside music instructor Bill Tolles made an announcement to his class.
“Our teacher had a thirty-minute conversation with us about the possibility of the school being closed and also what was going to happen with the music program,” Adasiewicz recalled. “He basically just found out from the district [school board] meeting.”
However, for some, the decision to regard the arts as “non-essential” was an outrage.
“We really like the department of music [at Woodside], and I feel like [district officials] really didn’t even hesitate in just shutting down everything [in the performing arts sector],” Hernandez proclaimed. “They kind of just said ‘Okay, we don’t really need this for now, [so let’s just] shut it down… You really could’ve put a little more thought into [making those decisions].”
Still, with other programs being postponed and school now transitioning to online learning, Hernandez believes the cancellations have become necessary.
“There [are] a lot of worried parents, and a lot of us are also a bit worried,” Hernandez observed. “I feel like with [school closing], we can just take a step back from everything that is going on in the world and really focus on ourselves, which is really going to help.”