The Requiem for Musical Isolation


Many visual artists reported quarantine as a positive experience for them, giving them lots more time to explore the bounds of their creativity. Yet, at Manchester High School, the students of the music department did not have an experience as positive.

Choir, band, and orchestra are passions rooted in togetherness. It simply doesn’t function well when people are separated. For 2 years though, these musical minds were forced into trying to function over choppy zoom calls, awkward recordings, and a distance that pulled apart the communal foundations of what makes the music department so strong. 

On Tuesday, December 14th, something significant happened. The music department had their first show in 2 years, and there was an overflowing amount of joy and excitement brimming in the auditorium.  

Lillian LaCapruia-Hull is extremely involved in the Music Department. She participates in chorus, roundtable singers, jazz choir, handbell choir, orchestra, chamber orchestra, and color guard. For someone as heavily involved in music as LaCapruia-Hull is, there was something missing when the Music Department was forced to practice apart.

Covid has made me miss being able to see the music I make bring joy to other people. I missed being able to see little kids be inspired to join music when they see their siblings up on stage performing.” LaCapuria-Hull explains, “And the closeness that these performances bring within our community. I longed to be able to meet with my friends and make music whether it be playing a full orchestra piece, singing a song, or just playing a random little duet.” 

When the department finally reunited, LaCapruia-Hull’s passionate nature for the world of music got to flourish.

“I was ecstatic.” 

LaCapuria-Hull missed a lot of things, like other people in the department, so the moment they returned, they got to rebuild a passionate, unified environment that grew even fonder in its absence. “I missed the rush of participating in a show and being able to perform for people. I was happy to see and hear the music that had been absent from the music wings for a bit. It was like I regained more of a sense of normalcy that I have not been able to experience in years. I know that for a lot of us this was an emotional experience because this is what we love, it’s our passion.”

It’s not just something enjoyable for LaCapruia-Hull though, the ability to return to normalcy is beneficial to the general growth of a musician. “Performing in a group is beneficial to a greater understanding of music. Playing one single part of a four-plus part piece isn’t the same as playing it with a group. When you hear the one line of music you learned join in with the other parts you get a feeling of afflatus. Playing with a large group makes everything more enticing. You develop an excitement for hearing the piece you’re playing be perfected and when it finally clicks it’s exhilarating.”

The music department is a place where people can grow their musical talents, as well as find people with similar interests with who they can connect. LaCapuria-Hull experienced this first hand, explaining, “Being able to play music with others brings everyone closer. If I had never played music at this school I wouldn’t have met most of my friends.”

Music may not be the first thing you think of when you consider activities impacted by isolation. Typically we go right to sports, or typical team activities. Yet, even the more artistically minded have had many struggles having to try and piece together group-based music when they are all apart. And in turn, the excitement and elation brimming in the auditorium on December 14th was something uniquely significant for all the passionate Music Department students.