Chautauqua School of Music Safety Protocols
As of June 9, 2021
The Chautauqua School of Music safety plan has been developed in consultation with a panel of medical and industry experts, peer organizations, and our health and facilities colleagues at Chautauqua Institution. These procedures and safety protocols provided for safe use of the SOM facilities will be implemented during the summer of 2021.
For as long as health guidelines require, each person entering the buildings will be required to follow all safety protocols, including physical distancing, handwashing, wearing face coverings, following new traffic patterns in the building, and other requirements.
Chautauqua’s Facilities Department has assessed and significantly improved building conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In Lenna, Fletcher and McKnight Halls ventilation/air quality and building controls have been improved. In Carnahan-Jackson Dance Studios, HEPA air purifiers have been added in the studios to improve air quality. In Bellinger Hall, inoperable windows have been repaired and additional single sleeping spaces have been established for residential students for regular and isolation periods.
Chautauqua Festival Schools of Performing and Visual Arts
P.O. Box 1098
1 Ames Ave.
Chautauqua, NY 14722
Compliance with Safety & Health Rules
For the health of all participants, including students, faculty, and staff, it is extremely important for everyone to follow these safety and health rules. Tremendous progress has been made nationwide to reduce the spread of COVID-19, including a great effort on the part of the general public to follow safety protocols such as wearing masks, physical distancing, frequent handwashing, staying home when sick, getting tested when needed, and providing the necessary information for contact tracing.
The Chautauqua School of Music plans to enforce established health and safety rules and repeated or serious lapses will not be tolerated. Violating the safety rules can result in sanctions according to the Chautauqua School of Music Code of Conduct.
This is a moment of challenge and change for everyone. It will take everyone working together to keep each other safe.
Masking & Social Distancing
Masking requirements: Fabric masking, specifically a cloth or standard surgical mask, is required of all individuals, faculty and students, when making music in a large group setting. Bandanas, neck gaiters, and masks with vents or valves will not be allowed. Masks should fit tightly, and cover both the nose and mouth at all times. Disposable face coverings will be available at the main office in Bellinger Hall for anyone who arrives without one.
Chautauqua is committed to ensuring its protocols meet or exceed guidance provided by public health authorities. The Chautauqua Institution in-house COVID-19 Safety Committee and its expert advisers are working to keep up-to-date with evolving regulations and laws.
Additional instrument-specific guidance is provided below:
- Woodwind and brass players must keep masks on until seated and ready to play. Strings must wear a mask at all times during large group rehearsal and performance.
- Singers must wear masks at all times during rehearsals and group classes; they will not wear masks during performances.
- Conductors and directors have the option to wear masks during large group rehearsal and performance.
Physical distancing for instrumental: String players, masked, sit in 3-foot spacings from each other side to side and front to back. There will be 10 feet from the conductor to the 1st row of strings. Wind players, unmasked, sit with 8-foot spacings side to side and front to back. Measurements are taken from the edge of each chair.
Brass players must expel the condensation from their instruments into a covered container or absorbent cloth. They must empty the container in a nearby bathroom or dispose in a nearby garbage can immediately after the music-making session is finished. No condensation should be expelled on any surface in the rehearsal room, whether there is carpet, wood, or tile flooring in the room. Moisture absorbent pads – AKA Puppy pads – will be provided for rehearsal and performance in the Amphitheater and Lenna Hall.
Physical distancing for voice: Each singer needs the equivalent of 200 sq ft around them indoors, 120 sq ft outdoors and in ALL cases at least 20’ in from of them due to projection of droplets and aerosols. Accompanists will be masked at all times in a group setting and require a 4’ radius (approximately 50 sq ft). Faculty and instructors will wear a mask at all times in a group setting and need a 4’ radius (approximately 50 sq ft)
Physical distancing for piano: All students and faculty will be masked at all times when in a group setting. A 4’ radius (approximately 50 sq ft) is suggested for each student and teacher. For all studio classes and any group masterclasses, the students/faculty in audience will maintain a distance of 3 ft and be masked at all times.
Rehearsal Time for Groups
Rehearsal time: The primary issue with determining rehearsal time is the need for air exchange within the space. Although this might occur naturally between groups as rehearsal ends and a new group begins, the overall time must also be considered when planning the rehearsal period. Rehearsals will need to be presented in shorter segments with empty room time placed between the music-making episodes.
- For rehearsals in Fletcher Hall, McKnight Hall, Carnahan Jackson Studios, JAG (Jane A Gross) Opera Center and Lenna Hall, involving masked singers: There will be 45 minutes of group music-making followed by 30 minutes of down time in a room to allow for air exchange. For groups involving woodwinds, and brass instruments there should be 45 minutes of group music-making followed by 30 minutes of down time. If you rehearse in a room with an air conditioner, you can use the air conditioner and open the room door to provide additional air flow during the empty room time, but this does not alter the required 30 minutes of down time. All individuals, including faculty, should leave the room during the down time.
- For rehearsals involving all other instruments: 90 sequential minutes of rehearsal MAXIMUM is allowed, followed by 30 minutes of down time for air exchange; rehearsal can continue after the down time if addition time is scheduled for the ensemble. All individuals, including faculty, must vacate the rehearsal space during the down time.
- For rehearsals in the Amphitheater and Pratt Performance Pavilion (spaces that are outdoor and open-air) involving singers, woodwinds, and brass instruments: 60 sequential minutes of rehearsal MAXIMUM is allowed, followed by 30 minutes of down time for air exchange providing the hour is broken into increments where personnel is changed minimally after 30 minutes. If only one of the groups includes woodwind/brass instruments, they should rehearse second.
- Conductors/coaches may NOT remain in the space during the down time. The room door should be left open, if possible, during this time.
Ensemble size: The maximum group size for instrument and vocal ensembles shall be determined by the COVID-19 occupancy limit of the space determined by the physical distancing guidelines. The floor will be clearly marked for groups to place their chairs accordingly to ensure a safe and required distance.
Rehearsal logistics: Chautauqua will be creating the plans for traffic patterns and wayfinding, Conductors/faculty are responsible for enforcing these plans and should reinforce the importance of maintaining a safe physical distance between individuals as they enter and leave a space while masked. Signs will be posted in all facilities.
Conductors/coaches should recommend that students leave extraneous belongings elsewhere when they travel for rehearsal. Students should make a sincere effort to reduce the number of backpacks, cases, coats, etc., that are brought into the rehearsal space.
Private Lessons & Coaching
Private lessons: For all private lessons there will be 30 minutes of down time after the lessons to allow for air exchange. If a student rehearses in a room with an air conditioner, the air conditioner may be used and the room door may be opened to provide additional air flow during the empty room time, but this does not alter the required 30 minutes of down time. All individuals, including faculty, should leave the room during the down time. All doors and windows available at the facility should be opened to increase fresh-air inside.
The SOM will allow student and teacher to be unmasked during private lessons, if both student and teacher are fully vaccinated and comfortable with it. Please feel empowered to self-advocate; if the student or teacher is uncomfortable with either party being unmasked during a lesson, both should remain masked and there should be no pressure from either party for choosing to do so.
Private lessons and coachings for voice will take place in either Carnahan Jackson Dance Studios or Fletcher Hall. Voice lessons will last no longer than 45 minutes followed by 30 minutes of down time.
Private lessons for piano will take place in Sherwood Marsh Studios. Piano lessons will last no longer than 60 minutes followed by 30 minutes of down time.
Private lessons for brass and winds will take place in McKnight Hall (with doors all open). Lessons will last no longer than 45 minutes followed by 30 minutes of down time.
Private lessons for strings and percussion will take place in faculty studios unless faculty or student request a larger space. Lessons will last no longer than 60 minutes followed by 30 minutes of down time.
Length of performances: All performances involving musicians (solo or group) may not exceed 90 minutes of music. There will be no intermission.
Dress rehearsals: Dress rehearsals prior to a performance will be allowed and scheduled by the Music Office and included in the ArtsVision calendar, which is the official calendar for the Chautauqua School of Music. Dress rehearsals are to be closed events, with only the participating students and appropriate Chautauqua faculty (e.g., the student’s applied teacher) able to attend and are subject to the time limits stated above.
Livestreaming: Chautauqua will provide livestreaming of most performances in the Amphitheater, to include orchestra concerts, voice opera with the orchestra and piano guest artist performances. The Sunday Afternoon Chamber Players concerts, select masterclasses and the private chamber music recitals will also be livestreamed.
Lessons & Rehearsal Scheduling
Lesson Scheduling: The latest guidance from the Chautauqua Institution medical team is that voice, winds, and brass lessons require 30 minutes of downtime between each lesson to allow for air recirculation and ventilation. This also applies to any rehearsals or coachings involving these instruments. During the downtime all students and faculty must vacate the room. Opening the window and/or turning on the air conditioner is recommended as well, but this does not reduce the required 30 minutes of downtime.
Ensembles: Ensemble rehearsal schedules will be made in the music office by Suzanne Fassett-Wright. Students may not rehearse in any space that is not pre-scheduled by the office. If an ensemble needs more rehearsal time or a different space the ensemble leader should be in touch with Mrs. Fassett-Wright.
Hours: 8 a.m.–10 p.m.
Practice cabins and studios will be pre-assigned to students before arrival. Students will be sharing practice cabins with one or two students, depending on space and time constraints.
No student may enter a cabin or any practice venue that is unoccupied—an empty room may be on room rest, and it may not be safe to enter.
It will be up to the students to schedule practice times that work for those assigned to the space, always allowing for a 30-minute air exchange between practice sessions.
Practice rooms are only available for individual work as most rooms do not allow for proper physical distancing. Group rehearsal spaces will be assigned by Suzanne Fassett-Wright.
Students are also allowed to practice in your room in the residence halls. Practice will be allowed from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. each day and must only take place in your room, it will not be allowed anywhere else in the residence halls.
Visitors & Guests
Visitor Policy: In general, guests and visitors will be limited on campus this summer. There are limited exceptions, but only for visitors and guests who are deemed essential to the academic missions of Chautauqua. Faculty who would like to bring a visitor or guest to campus should contact Sarah Malinoski-Umberger for information about the approval process. Students may not host visitors or guests in the residence halls this summer for any reason. Your family and friends are more than welcome to come onto the grounds of CHQ, attend a performance in the Amphitheater or join you for coffee and ice cream! They will need to purchase a gate ticket at the main welcome center upon arrival.
Music Office Protocols
The music office will be closed to the public. Students and faculty will be permitted inside by appointment to limit the amount of traffic in the office. To schedule an appointment, please contact Megan Stefanik, the SOM office assistant this summer. She can be reached at email@example.com or 716-357-6294.
Copying will be limited to certain faculty and library staff only. If copies are needed, in the voice department, please contact Donna Gill. In the piano or instrumental departments, please contact Megan Stefanik, contact information above.
Screening, Testing & Tracing
(still being developed)
Students are required to arrive on June 18 or 19 for the required PCR testing and moving into Bellinger Hall. Once we have proof of a negative PCR (results in 20 minutes) students will be allowed to move in. There will be an isolation wing in the residence halls in case a student tests positive.
We will be using the following PCR test:
Fully vaccinated music students will not be tested after this first test upon arrival.
Partially and non-vaccinated music students will be tested weekly using the same PCR test above.
Operations of the dining hall and other on-campus food services will be in accordance with New York State guidance. In the dining hall, there will be no customer-facing serving stations. Chautauqua’s food service provider is working to ensure students have appropriate dietary options with two grab-and-go boxed meals per day (breakfast and lunch) that will be chosen in advance from a digital menu. All beverages will be bottled, and coffee will be served by a CHQ café employee. There will be seating in the dining area with tables and chairs positioned for socially distanced eating. There also will be an outdoor deck with seating, or students may feel free to eat outside on a bench or under a tree! Please dispose of all food waste in the provided receptacles in the cafeteria. Regular cleaning and disinfecting practices throughout the dining facility will be enhanced according to guidelines.
For dinner each day, a meal plan card will be provided that may be used to eat at any CHQ-owned food establishment (Brick Walk Café, Afterwords Café, The A Truck, Plaza Market, Heirloom Restaurant).
The CHQ housekeeping staff will be cleaning bathrooms in Bellinger once a week. Students may certainly opt out of this if they are not comfortable having housekeeping staff in their space. There will be cleaning supplies available to students in order to complete their own cleaning. Housekeeping will be cleaning the common spaces and hallways multiple times a week. If students choose to eat in the rooms, please place trash in the large trash cans located in the dining area. Students should not dispose of food waste in the rooms.