With COVID-19 restrictions the last few years, music and theater programs have been especially challenged as directors struggle to coordinate shows and find places groups can perform. Some schools and places are still not allowing performances at their location.
In spite of the challenges, UCC music director Jason Heald says that in-person shows are vital: “It’s therapeutic socially to be making music again.”
To enable in-person shows, Heald explained that all of the UCC music groups’ vaccination percentage is high and masking and social distancing is practiced.
Heald and the UCC fine arts staff direct multiple community musical groups including two choirs, orchestra, jazz band and a theater program. Heald says these are all important because
The funding for UCC choirs and theater groups currently comes from donations, grants, and some of it comes from the admission to the shows as well, along with some money from UCC as well.
UCC chamber choir/ concert meets at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday to give students an opportunity to express themselves in music. This is a one credit elective credit class.
Umpqua Singers is a larger commitment. It is audition only and they perform about 50 times a year. The group of Umpqua Singers is an exclusive full time student group that can go abroad. In the past they have gone to Brazil, Spain, Ireland, and Hong Kong.
UCC chamber choir and concert choirs are open to both students and community members. Heald suggests that if a student or community member would like to join the UCC chamber choir or concert choir they join at term, up to the end of the first week. The class cap is 60 students.
Prior to COVID-19 about 20 to 24 students were in the choir group. Since the pandemic, numbers have been reduced, and the group is now at 10 students. Before the pandemic it was easy to get word out about recruitment and shows, because people watched the same channels, listened to the same stations and were getting the local newspaper. It was easy to reach a large group of people. Now advertising is so decentralized, it’s hard to get word out about anything, Heald noted.
However, every UCC musical group has their own social media pages via Facebook and Instagram where they post where and when they will be performing.
Any student is welcome to perform in the UCC music programs, and, if they are interested, they can contact Jason Heald and he will point them in the right direction.
The three important components to the mission statement of the programs are:
- Able to transfer into another program as a junior from the community college transfer program
- Provide professional level skills to any person that wants to become a performing artist.
- Provide cultural enrichment to the community the school acts like a cultural hub for the college.
Upcoming shows this term are the fall concert on Nov. 16 and the Messiah concert Dec. 3 and 5. The event will be in Myrtle Creek at and on the fifth it will be on campus at Jackson Hall.
All students can attend the music concerts for free (not just UCC students).
Here are the hyperlinks to the social media:
(4) UCC Chamber Choir | Facebook
(4) Umpqua Chamber Orchestra | Facebook
(3) Music at Umpqua Community College | Facebook
Dr. Jason A. Heald
Director of Music
Performing and Visual Arts
Umpqua Community College
P.O. Box 967
Roseburg, OR 97470
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