A season canceled abruptly. A favorite piece left unperformed—plans for every aspect of life now unknown. COVID-19 infiltrated our community and silenced the mighty sounds of the Virginia Winds Academy.
Staff had to think creatively to keep their students and teachers connected to the music and their passion for the arts. Transitioning music teachers online, creating new lesson plans, and launching new technology to communicate with students is a barrier for many teaching arts organizations, including the Virginia Winds Academy.
Students switched from in-person jam sessions to master class presentation sessions over zoom with professionals in the Marine Corp Band, Irish orchestra, the Vienna Stage Opera, and Philharmonic Orchestras.
Virginia Winds Academy remains committed to its students, teachers, audiences, and their passion for art. Still, the financial impact they are facing is real, with a loss of one-third of the season and an uncertain future for the next year. The new economic reality means the suspension of staff salaries with only the managing director remaining. The continuing uncertainty has made it difficult for parents to commit, with fewer than 100 students seeking auditions than the 300 plus in previous years.
Arts organizations like the Virginia Winds Academy are rooted in our community with a history of educating, training, and supporting musicians from diverse backgrounds and artistic levels.
The ArtsFairfax Emergency and Relief Recovery Act Grant provided the Virginia Wind Academy with financial resources to think innovatively toward recovery.