“Virtual Community Concerts”, “Round Rock ISD Band Classic”, “Virtual Movie Night”

2023 Pandemic Perseverance Award Recipient

Pearson Ranch Middle School Band

Pearson Ranch Middle School
Austin, Texas


During the pandemic, we all struggled with what was taken away from us. Live performances, contests, social gatherings, etc. It was my goal to continue to provide that for our students in a creative and safe way. To do this, we did virtual concerts for our community, created a contest called the Round Rock ISD Band Classic for our students, and had fun with virtual movie nights via Netflix Party. We involved our vertical team in our concerts by featuring elementary students, involved sister schools in our contest, and invited our feeder high school students to our virtual movie night.


The objective for every project was to remind students and the community that music can bring us together even when we had walls separating us. Although not the traditional way, we still were able to provide a sense of belonging for our students. We got to award our students for their achievements in the RRISD Band Classic by driving to each of their homes and delivering certificates. We also highlighted them to the community by placing yard signs in their front yard.

Target Audience

The students were our targeted audience. For as difficult as the pandemic was for adults, it was even more difficult for children. Their mental health was a great concern for us so we made it our goal to completely dive into making sure they kept looking to the future and the light at the end of the tunnel.


We spaced out each of our projects so something was always going on throughout the year. Our timeline was the August 2020 to May of 2021.

Overview of Planning and Execution

As the Director of Bands for Pearson Ranch MS, my role was to create the project, assign roles, and see it through. My assistant helped tremendously by taking on the project at hand and assisting with execution. Our private lesson staff also bought in to our initiatives 100% and provided virtual lessons for our competition, motivated kids, and continued to give them a sense of purpose. Our time commitment was intensive as we were walking in new territory regarding virtual concerts, driving to 30+ student’s houses for awards, and figuring out how to make a movie night fun with 200+ kids at their homes.

Tools and Resources

I went through many online classes to learn how to create a virtual mashup of pieces, we used booster money to help us pay for awards, and our personal accounts for Netflix.

Marketing and Promotion

The biggest tool we used in regards to marketing and promotion was social media. We posted on social media almost daily to highlight the wonderful things our kids were doing. Through social media, a local TV daily show contacted us to show a portion of our concert on their broadcast. We also asked our band parents to share our social media posts, post to their neighborhood outlets, etc. We also enlisted our band reporter to submit articles to our local neighborhood magazine.


To award our students for their achievements in the Round Rock Band Classic, we purchased yard signs and certificates for our students. Total cost for that was $300. We provided each of our students participating in the Netflix Party with a to go snack pack that included microwaveable popcorn, candy, and a drink. Total cost for that was $250.


Everyone was so desperate for social interaction and a sense of normalcy that we didn’t really face any challenges. Everyone was more than willing to participate and contribute to the project at hand. What was challenging was creating a virtual concert that people would want to watch and not just fast forward through. We overcame that challenge by incorporating the students as much as possible through student speeches, soloists, incorporating our elementary feeders, etc.

Success/Effectiveness Measurement

Our initiatives were effective. While other programs across the district struggled with keeping students in their program, our program not only had excellent retention, but we also grew in size! Our virtual concert received over 2,500 views from people all over the world. It was amazing to get emails from grandparents and family in other countries telling us how much their appreciated being able to see their family perform. Live streaming our concerts is something we have now taken with us so we can continue allowing family from across the world to enjoy music.

Community Impact

Our initiative positively impacted our music program, because it gave our students a sense of belonging and normalcy. The pandemic was a time when it was very easy to get lost and forget how to be together. Our initiatives pulled our students back together. It was also really great to see our school highlighted on TV when so much of TV at the time was negative.

Advice for others?

Advice I would give is to get creative and think outside the box. If there is will there is a way! Involve your students in the decision making process because sometimes they think of ideas that are more creative than what an adult would think of.