For UNW Music & Theatre Groups, the Show Goes On

By Greg Johnson on Monday, November 16, 2020

Despite a global pandemic, University of Northwestern – St. Paul (UNW) music and theatre groups have and are scheduled to continue producing well-attended events that both account for the safety of participants and spectators, and send attendees home with the lingering joy live performances can bring.

Northwestern’s music and theatre teams, in conjunction with the university’s events staff, have successfully completed six weekends of live theatre this fall—a remarkable achievement considering extensive cancellations that have taken place during the ongoing global battle against COVID-19. UNW’s thoughtful planning and mitigation protocols have allowed students to pursue their craft and entertain attendees while adhering to state mandates for facial coverings and physical distancing. In September, Northwestern students premiered Max Bush’s adaptation of Beauty and the Beast in an outdoor production. October and November saw UNW feature three weekends of the award-winning musical Bright Star in the campus’s Knight Performance Hall, with a creative double-casting of students in separate ensembles. The use of technology and air purification systems allowed both casts to rehearse synchronously in different rooms. 

Several UNW student music groups will take to the Knight Performance Hall stage in concert this weekend:

  • Thursday, Nov. 19: UNW Orchestra Concert, Knight Performance Hall, 7:30 p.m. (, in-person only)
  • Friday, Nov. 20: Symphonic Band Concert, Knight Performance Hall, 7:30 p.m. (, in-person only)
  • Sunday, Nov 22: “How Can We Keep from Singing?”—A celebration of choral music in a pandemic, featuring Amata Women’s Chorale, Con Brio Men’s Chorus, and Northwestern Choir, Knight Performance Hall, 4:00 p.m. (; live stream tickets also available)

Similar to the fall’s theatre performances, risk-reducing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will continue to be in place. “Although these upcoming concerts will visually look different than in the past––with distancing, face coverings, and even instrument bell covers––we celebrate that music rings through the hallways alive and well at Northwestern!” said Kirk Moss, Interim Dean for the College of Arts & Humanities. Throughout the pandemic, Moss has been a featured contributor to Alfred Music’s blog on risk management strategies.