The Arts Carry on at Whitman

For many Whitman students, one of the best parts of the day is when school ends. After the bell rings, many of us go to club meetings, sports practice, or attend one of the many enjoyable events hosted in its Performing Arts Center, cafeterias, and gymnasiums. I myself have sometimes been in this building from 7:00 in the morning until almost 9:00 at night, as have many of my peers. However, on March 13, 2020, the South Huntington School District officially closed its doors and moved to distance learning, in response to the current COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world. On May 1, 2020, New York governor Andrew Cuomo announced that the quarantine would be permanent–no schools would reopen for the remainder of the 2019-2020 academic year. While many of you may think that their extracurricular activities cannot occur, I am both pleased and sorry to tell you that this notion is wrong. At Whitman, many annual events have just been moved to a virtual platform, instead of being cancelled altogether. 

If you look forward each year to buying the newest album from the Collective, you are still in luck. According to Mr. Monti, he and Mr. Hoffman were able to “set up a remote studio” in their homes and “salvage as many tracks as [they could],” despite the many setbacks created by isolated music production. They are also “really excited” with the way the album is developing, and are currently “exploring different software options” that will allow Collective members to track their songs, as well as “translate their recordings from one program into another.” In the meantime, however, the club is gradually dropping the album, with one song being released per week, which “highlights each musician as a single recording artist” while allowing for more songs to be finished. 

However, if music isn’t necessarily for you, Whitman’s literary magazine, Xanadu, has also remained active. The club’s advisor, Mr. Pipolo credits senior editor Lauren Gotard with being “extremely diligent in keeping things fresh” with the magazine. The website, which exists in place of printed issues, “continues to be run remotely,” and has been featuring new poems and prose, in addition to art, and photos taken by photography students. 

In short, these clubs give us a way to still be connected despite the quarantine. While this situation is definitely not ideal, we can still retain something like our social lives after school. If you’re interested, tune into the Mercy Benefit Concert on Friday, June 5th at 7pm. Not only will you have the chance to hear great performances from Whitman students, teachers, 

administrators, and alumni, but you can also donate to Project Hope with the click of a button. Visit to support all of the hardworking performers and this excellent cause!