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How has TRYPO responded to COVID-19?

How has TRYPO responded to COVID-19?

Current TRYPO in-person rehearsals involve pre-screening, distancing in rehearsals, masks and instrument PPE at all times, as well as the ability to stream in to rehearsal with live Zoom feeds for students at home. 
To see our COVID-19 *Serious about Safety* Protocols being followed in the photo above, click HERE


Plans for the 2021-22 Season:

The TRYPO Artistic and Operations Team worked hard to plan for the current season. Still, many of our plans depend on our community’s progress in combatting and eradicating this horrible virus, so we are also staying flexible! The TRYPO team did a lot of work in the 2020-21 season in building safety protocols that were instituted in spring 2021. We have continued to build on this success in the 2021-22 season with in-person rehearsals and our first performance back with a live audience in January 2022. It’s been so exciting to make music together in the 2021-22 season, and we can’t wait for all we have planned in 2022-23!

2020-21 Season:

  • In Summer/Fall 2020, we did a lot of research, both of scientific studies and studying the protocols from other professional and youth orchestras from around the country. The staff and Board of Directors developed and approved our COVID-19 *Serious About Safety* Protocols in order to institute in-person rehearsals as safely as possible. 
  • The Fall Semester was largely virtual via Zoom, focusing on student recording work, with a few optional reading sessions to introduce the Safety Protocols.
  • Students prepared a fantastic Virtual Exhibition in January 2021 for friends and family, with special guests Noah Bendix-Balgley (1st Concertmaster of the Berlin Philharmonic and former Concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony) and Byron Stripling (renowned trumpet player and newly named Pops Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra). 
  • In the Spring Semester, we began meeting in person every other week. We followed strict COVID-19 protocols, including weekly disclosures, staggered check-ins, a rehearsal layout with six feet between closed mask musicians (strings, harp, percussion, keyboard), and ten feet between winds/brass musicians (who are required to have musicians’ masks and bell covers). 
  • As we all became more comfortable with the COVID protocols and the tremendous amount of respect we saw from families, we instituted weekly rehearsals in April, working towards an outdoor concert in May.
  • We anticipated and planned for increased scholarship support. The scholarship application was significantly simplified with an “ask for what you need” approach and extra support for families whose household finances are in crisis.  
  • We launched a new programming arm for TRYPO called the TRYPOsphere to offer Composition, Music Theory, Overdubbing, and Conducting classes.
  • We took advantage of the fact that Zoom removes geographic boundaries and engaged with teaching artists, presenters, and other students from around the country to engage with our students in a new speaker series called TRYPOtalks!.

Spring 2020 Virtual TRYPO!   

  • At the onset of COVID-19, TRYPO staff didn’t miss a beat and embraced planning and launching Virtual TRYPO.
  • All ensembles (large and small) met virtually via Zoom. The sessions have included listening and recording assignments and more than 30 guest speakers (conductors, composers, and musicians), among other activities. Attendance was very high across all ensembles, and we routinely heard that parents and students alike valued and looked forward to the content. 
  • All 2020-21 new member auditions for next season were done via Zoom, and we loosened some of the audition requirements in consideration that all students might not be able to meet with their teachers.   
  • We added virtual masterclasses and “section hangs” for mid-week connections.
  • All ensembles came together for a “Virtual Exhibition” on May 30, 2020!

2020 Camp Crescendo!

  • In 2020, we launched a six-week Virtual Summer Camp called Camp Crescendo, all designed around classes and structures that work over Zoom.
  • Classes included Video Editing, Overdubbing, Repertoire 360, Virtual Chamber Music, Composition, and Conducting. Students also had camp counselors, “house meetings,” game night, and weekly All-Camp sessions with guest speakers in addition to an All-Camp Project.  
  • Student enrollment was very high at 56 students, which is especially interesting, considering we have heard anecdotally that many virtual camps had a hard time getting a robust enrollment. We did not have a single student drop.
  • This unique camp had a “Suggested Tuition” model to fit every price point, which resulted in a higher “self-scholarshipped” rate that we would have budgeted for normally but was not taken advantage of at all. Many families commented on how grateful they were for the offering, even though they didn’t need it.

What has been cancelled?  

  • TRYPO’s much-anticipated performance in Carnegie Hall, NYC, in March 2020 was one of the first things to be cancelled. Our presenter secured a significant refund for us, and TRYPO made up the difference for families and offered full refunds to all families.  
  • Dozens of 2020 Youth Chamber Connection community performances were cancelled due to the stay-at-home order. 2020-21 Youth Chamber Connection community performances were not scheduled. 
  • TRYPO’s May 10, 2020 concert and silent auction at Carnegie Music Hall was cancelled.   
  • TRYPO’s May 16, 2020, Percussion Ensemble and Wind Symphony concert at Duquesne University was cancelled.  
  • TRYPO’s May 2020 Open Reading Day was cancelled.  
  • The 2020 YC2 at Chautauqua Music Camps was cancelled when Chautauqua Institution closed for the summer. TRYPO has elected not to move forward with the 2021 YC2 at Chautauqua Music Camps because the Chautauqua Institution is not a closed campus. We did not feel that we could keep students and chaperones safe. 
  • YPO’s mandatory season starting overnight Mini-Camp over Labor Day weekend 2020 was cancelled. The 2021 season starting retreat will not be overnight. 
  • TRYPO has postponed its June 2021 international concert tour.