Field trips may seem verboten during the current stay-at-home orders, but that did not preclude Deborah Watts, performing arts department chair, and her three jazz bands, from attending a concert together—virtually, of course. They “traveled” to New York City to view the Worldwide Concert for our Culture, a live-streamed performance featuring jazz from all over the world and curated by jazz great, Wynton Marsalis, at Lincoln Center Jazz.
“It was the perfect way to feel connection in music during this challenging time,” says Ms. Watts. “It was really cool feeling like I was attending with all of my students, knowing that they were experiencing the music at the same time.” While live audience etiquette does not permit discussion, the virtual experience has another silver lining—the ability to share perspectives and ask questions during the performance. “There were students who reached out during the concert with questions or comments,” she explains.
As entertaining as the concert was, Ms. Watts was sure to inject a healthy dose of education, too, as students were required to critique the performance and write an editorial review. Read Liam K. '20's review here.
Ms. Watts has forty-two jazz students and almost all of them attended the concert live, while those who were unable to attend live viewed it at a later time.