SOMD COVID-19 FAQs

UO SOMD COVID-19 FAQs
A Safe Return to Music
“It all comes down to personal responsibility”
          – David Mason, SOMD Director of Facilities Services

UO Precautions  |  SOMD Precautions  |  Rehearsal and Performance  |  Academics  |  Other  |  Questions?

This page is intended as a resource for UO School of Music and Dance (SOMD) students, parents, faculty, staff, and community supporters as we plan a return to academic and artistic excellence for the fall term. In alignment with the University of Oregon's guidelines, and informed by numerous conversations with faculty and staff, SOMD plans are outlined below. These plans will be continually reconsidered as more information about the COVID-19 pandemic and the state and University's response to it is learned. Please check back regularly for updates.

Last Update: 9/18/2020, 1:35pm

General UO Information

UO COVID-19 REGULATIONS
Details of the university’s face covering and symptom self-check policies.

Will UO resume in-person classes in the fall?
On August 26, UO President Michael Schill sent a letter to the UO community about the current state of the university’s COVID-19 response, as well as overarching plans for resuming studies and activities in the fall term. While the letter touches on the topics of health and safety, adapting to create opportunities for first-year students, and tuition, its ultimate message is that remote and online learning is in the best interest of UO students, faculty, staff, and public health. In alignment with the president’s decision, the School of Music and Dance (SOMD) intends to operate primarily through remote and online instruction in the fall term. However, due to the unique nature of music and dance classes, some SOMD studio experiences will receive exemptions.

When will I know which classes are online and which are in person?
The updated class schedule can be found here

How can UO help me stay safe?
UO will issue every student, faculty, and staff member two (2) reusable, washable masks. We have reduced the density of all classroom and building spaces to create physical distancing, increased air handling and cleaning, placed hand sanitation stations around campus and taken other measurers. See the coronavirus website for the full list of prevention measures.

What services will be available for students who stay in Eugene?
All UO students will have access to remote and in-person services, programs and activities, such as the Erb Memorial Union and Student Rec Center, where strategies are in place to keep our community safe, as well as access to quiet, supportive study spaces and on-campus internet.

I already moved to Eugene for fall term? Should I go back home?
Although classes will be predominantly remote or online, many campus amenities, resources, and support services will be open and available for use by all students. This includes on-campus internet and access to quiet study spaces in the library and elsewhere. In addition, some labs, studios, and small classes will be in-person as circumstances allow, with modifications to ensure we are following health and safety protocols.

General SOMD Information

Will SOMD have masks available?
SOMD will make a limited number of disposable masks available, but students are strongly encouraged and expected to wear their own UO (or any other) mask at all times.

What about hand sanitizer?
We will provide small amounts of sanitizer. If you are an advocate or user of hand sanitizer, please consider bringing your own.

What are the Music Building hours of operation?
From 9/12-9/20, the building will be closed. Beginning 9/21, the building will be open from 7am-7pm, Monday-Friday. The building will be closed on Saturdays and Sundays, but accesible by prox card. Once prox card distribution is completed (est. 10/5), the building will be locked 24/7, and accessible only by prox card.

What can I do to help?
It goes without saying: these are unprecedented times. And we understand the unique nature of participating in the performing arts during a health crisis.
You can do your part by following guidelines: check for symptoms and stay home if you are sick, wear your mask, wash your hands frequently, maintain your distance – on and off campus. Encourage this behavior in classes. We will get through this by putting an emphasis on personal responsibility.

What are the cleaning and sanitation protocols for labs (eg. computer, piano, etc)?
We are using an electrostatic sprayer, which takes a concentrated amount of disinfectant and mists it into the air. The mist remains active for 10 minutes – the exact time needed to fight and minimize potential transmission of the virus and to clean surfaces.

How can I socialize with my friends in common areas?
Continuing to offer a true “college experience” is important to us. The value of chatting and collaborating in the hallway, lounge, or courtyard can’t be overstated. But during this strange time, you’ll notice changes to communal spaces and furniture around SOMD. In the interest of everyone’s safety, we ask that you respect all posted guidelines, maintain a 6-foot buffer, and always wear a mask. Social groups lingering in hallways are, sadly, not the ideal situation right now. Keep yourself and your friends safe!

I don’t want to wear a mask. Are you going to make me wear one?
The Governor of Oregon has mandated that masks be worn in public settings, especially when social distancing is not possible. UO and SOMD highly recommend and strongly request that you wear a mask. While we cannot enforce a mask, we remind you that health and safety require compliance from everyone – we are all responsible. It should also be noted that faculty at other schools and universities have chosen to cancel classes when students do not wear masks. Please think of your friends and peers when choosing to wear a mask. For up-to-date UO policies, click here.

How many people can be in a space at one time?
We will be posting “COVID Maximum Occupancy” signs around our buildings. Please take notice and comply with signage.

I’m a new Undergraduate student. Where can I find updated information on “Week of Welcome,” orientation meetings, entrance examinations, and ensemble and studio placement auditions?
We’re glad you’re planning ahead! Visit our Week of Welcome Undergrad Blog for all the information you need to start your UO SOMD journey. The blog is being updated regularly, so check back often.

I’m a new Graduate student. Where can I find updated information on “Week of Welcome,” orientation meetings, entrance examinations, and ensemble and studio placement auditions?
Welcome to your UO Graduate program. We’re happy you’re here! Visit our Week of Welcome Grad Student Blog for all the information you need to start your UO SOMD journey. The blog is being updated regularly, so check back often.

Where can I find audition information for continuing students and non-music majors?
If you’re looking to audition for Choral, Jazz, Opera, Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, or String Ensembles, you can find the most current information on our Audition page. We will also be creating and updating an Audition Blog post in the coming days.

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Rehearsal and Performance

Will studios and ensembles take place (and in what kind of format)?
Our goal is to offer music and dance experiences in as-close-to-normal format as possible. There will be a number of precautions taken, but we are aiming to offer studio and ensemble work. Situations will vary. We will update this paragraph as we know more.

What are the measured social distancing spaces?
Music classes will observe the recommended 6-foot distancing. Trombone players will receive an additional 3-feet in front (6x9 total), to account for the slide. Dance classes will offer 10-foot radii, to allow for extended movement.

How do I rent an instrument?
As was practiced in Spring term, Instrument rental will happen under the following conditions:

  • All requests should be addressed to Thor Mikesell, thorm@uoregon.edu, with the subject heading "Instrument Rental"
  • Excluding Week of Welcome, the distribution of instruments will occur in person, via appointment only, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Noon to 3pm, with at least 24hrs notice
  • Week of Welcome appointments and distributions will only occur in person, via appointment, Tuesday through Friday, Noon to 3pm, with at least 24hrs notice
  • Billing will be handled via email with SOMD Accounting, and all rental fees will be assessed to a student’s billing account
  • All fee schedules, including late fees are still applicable

Will there be choir auditions?
Yes! All students (no matter their major) are welcome in any of our choirs. We have choirs appropriate for all experience levels, from people who have sung in choir for many years, to people who would like to join a choir for the first time. This fall, auditions for the choral ensembles will take place over Zoom. There are three steps to the audition:

Step #1
Please record yourself singing a solo song. This can be absolutely anything that you like, accompanied or unaccompanied, and whatever genre you are comfortable singing in. We just want to hear what you sound like when you sing.

Step #2
Please upload your solo to a YouTube account, and then send the link to your solo audition to both of us (Dr. Sharon J. Paul: sjpaul@uoregon.edu and Dr. Melissa Brunkan:  mbrunkan@uoregon.edu). Please be sure you have set your privacy settings so that we will be permitted to view your recording. We should receive your email at least 24 hours prior to your scheduled online interview so we will have time to listen to it.

Step #3
Please go to this link (https://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090D4AAFAE2BA7FA7-choir) to sign up for an online interview. At this interview we will not ask you to sing again. We are interested in speaking with you about your previous choir experience and what you are looking for here at the U of O. This interview will help us assess which choir will be the best placement for you.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Dr. Paul or Dr. Brunkan at the emails listed above.

Will the choirs rehearse?
We expect to have choir in one form or another! We will follow evidence-based policies regarding the safety of choral singing. Even if we cannot sing together in one room at the beginning of the term, we will plan other ways for our choirs to create and study music together.

What is the maximum social distancing occupancy of Beall Hall stage?
33 people, which includes conductor, accompanist, page-turner, etc.

What about the Beall Hall organ loft?
The organ loft will be available to only one person – the organist, and no one else. 

How many people can attend Beall Hall events?
At present, we can safely seat 89 people – 50 on the main floor, 39 in the balcony

Can the public attend a Beall Hall event?
Per University policy, we are allowed to hold live performances in our spaces (as long as social distancing protocols can be adhered to), but the public will not be able to attend. As the University remains closed to the public, our in-person audience can ONLY be comprised of UO faculty, staff, and students.

Will contractors or visiting artists be allowed on campus? 
This is an ongoing conversation. As a rule, non-UO entities are discouraged from visiting campus. The University is examining special circumstances on a case-by-case basis, and making exceptions for safe and essential vendors and contractors.

I’m a new Undergraduate student. Where can I find updated information on “Week of Welcome,” orientation meetings, entrance examinations, and ensemble and studio placement auditions?
We’re glad you’re planning ahead! Visit our Week of Welcome Undergrad Blog for all the information you need to start your UO SOMD journey. The blog is being updated regularly, so check back often.

I’m a new Graduate student. Where can I find updated information on “Week of Welcome,” orientation meetings, entrance examinations, and ensemble and studio placement auditions?
Welcome to your UO Graduate program. We’re happy you’re here! Visit our Week of Welcome Grad Student Blog for all the information you need to start your UO SOMD journey. The blog is being updated regularly, so check back often.

Where can I find audition information for continuing students and non-music majors?
If you’re looking to audition for Choral, Jazz, Opera, Brass, Woodwind, Percussion, or String Ensembles, you can find the most current information on our Audition page. We will also be creating and updating an Audition Blog post in the coming days.

Will string auditions be online?
Yup! You can find information on the audition page.

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Academics

I’m an SOMD faculty or staff member. Can I make a request for a plexiglass face shield?
There are a very limited number of face shields assigned to SOMD. Please contact David Mason to request one.

Are students, faculty, or staff required to be tested for COVID-19 before returning to campus?
At this time, testing is not required. However, students and employees are required to do a symptom self-check every day before coming on-campus. Read more here: https://www.uoregon.edu/uo-covid-19-regulations#health-checks

My class starts at 2pm. Will there be another class in my space until 1:55pm?
No! We are scheduling classes at least 30 minutes apart. This allows ample time to circulate air, disinfect, and prevent groups from entering and exiting spaces at the same time.

Will we have class outside?
It’s possible. We all know the hurdles that come from having class outside – heat and humidity, security, and accessibility, just to name a few. There are ongoing conversations about tenting and flooring outdoor areas for music and dance classes. Faculty will work with department leadership to make the best choices, and students will be kept informed.

Can faculty and staff choose to work remotely in the Fall?
Faculty, GEs and staff received surveys late spring term (faculty and GEs) and in June (staff) allowing them to state their preferences with respect to working remotely.  In consultation with HR, the dean's office used that information to set the class schedule and build out SOMD's resumption plan; we will continue to use that information as we finalize our resumption planning. If you didn't receive that survey or would like to fill it out again, please reach out the dean's office.

Note that we expect that the university will send an updated survey soon as it continues to assess what fall term will look for our faculty, staff and students. This updated survey will allow faculty, GEs and staff to update their preferences due to changed circumstances, including how they may be impacted by the newly released K-12 guidance. Requests to work remotely will be viewed in light of the university's ongoing assessment of in-person instruction and with the goal of creating space in the workplace for employees that need to be on-campus while aligning employee preferences with operational need whenever possible. We will update this FAQ as we receive more information. 

Can faculty and staff access offices during the summer?
SOMD is working hard to limit the number of people in our buildings during the summer months. David Mason, Thor Mikesell, and Brooke Cagno are working diligently to schedule building visits and maintain a safe work environment. If you need access to an SOMD building, please contact one of them to discuss a time to access offices.

I am a student, and I don’t feel comfortable attending classes in person. Can I apply to take classes remotely?
Infrastructure is being put in place to offer as many options as possible. Please check back here for more specific information in the coming weeks.

Other Thoughts

Many people who attend UO are nature enthusiasts. It is often a hiker or camper mantra to “leave your site a little cleaner than when you arrived.” The entire SOMD team hopes you will apply this mantra to your everyday activities at SOMD and around campus. As you leave your class, please consider wiping down your desk, seat, or workspace to make it safer and cleaner for the next person.

Do you have a question?

If there is a question you have, or an issue you’d like addressed, please send us an email and we’ll respond within 48 hours.

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