WAU Music Overcoming Pandemic Challenges

Written by: Richard Castillo

Washington Adventist University’s Music Department is renowned for the high quality of talent and musicianship that is exemplified each opportunity each talented student gets to perform. Lately, those opportunities are far and few between, or not at all. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on musicians and vocalists’ ability to be in close quarters for rehearsal or performance. For the sake of safety, many of our most dedicated musicians have found their existence to be solitary.

Ana Laura Aguilar Piedra is a vocalist and is working to earn her BM in voice performance. As she sees it, this moment has given musicians a chance to rehearse like never before. It may be the optimist view, but Ana is an optimist. She is working with Dr. Daniel Lau, Chair of the Music Department, to install new equipment that utilizes a new software that allows multiple musicians or vocalists to collaborate from entirely separate rooms. This virtually eliminates the onerous delays in synchronization you would typically see while using zoom or another conferencing app. While zoom and other apps like it are admirable for their stated use, it can become painfully apparent that music is not one of their strengths.

Allowing each student in a different room to hear their counterparts clearly and in time, allows for a more complete and productive rehearsal and growing experience.
Dr. Lau sees this new technique for rehearsal and recording as nothing short of a game-changer. He believes this software will allow the WAU Music Department to thrive when the pandemic’s effect could have crippled the department. WAU may not exist in a world everyone wants to live in, but it is the one that exists. Thankfully WAU’s Music Department is up to the challenge.


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