The effects of COVID on the Cressey atmosphere

Riya Kapoor, Guest Writer from Journalism 1

The Cressey Center of the Arts at Lake Forest Academy has always been a place full of life, music, energy and joy, but this year, it’s not the same due to the effects of COVID-19. The usually lit up Cressey has become cold and empty.

Lake Forest Academy offers an Arts Concentration Program for its students, which is one of the things that makes our school unique. The program gives opportunities such as private voice lessons each week, small ensemble rehearsals, solo performances and other gatherings to help improve the arts for students intending to pursue those disciplines in college.

In an interview with Miranda Hernadez ‘23, a first year Arts Concentration student, she took a trip down memory lane and spoke about her favorite moments from last year. Hernandez talked about how COVID has affected her time with Peg Plambeck, Adjunct Voice Instructor in Fine and Performing Arts, and Timothy Plambeck, Director of Music for one on one voice lessons. She discussed how in pre-covid times, she was able to meet with both of them three or more times per week, and now, due to time constraints, she is only able to meet with them two times per cycle at most. Another thing Hernandez reflected on was her memories with the seniors before we left for e-learning in March as she said, “My time with the seniors was cut short, and I wish that I got to finish out the year again.”

In an interview with Tim Plambeck, I asked about what is going to happen next regarding choir performances. Plambeck discussed how he is hoping to be able to livestream performances, but he is not sure on what is going to happen. He also discussed that voice lessons with students are able to continue because of PlexiGlass dividers helping protect everyone. When asked what he missed the most, Plambeck discussed how usually the Fine Arts Department does a trip to New York every other year to go to Broadway and do other arts-related activities. Plambeck’s hope is to go to New York next year and rekindle this tradition. Even though COVID-19 has had a heavy impact on our arts department here at Lake Forest Academy, our hopes are that slowly and gradually, everything will start returning back to normal as the years progress, and our beloved Cressey center will regain the glow that it once had.