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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State seniors miss out on last performances due to the coronavirus

The+Texas+State+Strutter+seniors+gather+in+their+PJ%26%238217%3Bs+and+graduation+stoles+at+the+strutters+annual+holiday+party+in+the+Linda+Gregg+Fields+Strutter+Gallery.

The Texas State Strutter seniors gather in their PJ’s and graduation stoles at the strutters annual holiday party in the Linda Gregg Fields Strutter Gallery.

While some students rejoiced at the news of an extended spring break and online classes, others watched four years of hard work become overshadowed by the growing COVID-19 crisis.
The rapid spread of the coronavirus has led to the cancellation and postponement of various Texas State events, snatching away those final moments seniors cherish. Along with many sleepless nights spent on homework, performance seniors and those involved in extracurricular activities dedicated their college careers to beloved programs that will not be given a proper goodbye.
Like many other Texas State organizations, the Texas State Strutters had a short season this spring as all dates for their spring show were canceled.
The Strutters Spectacular Show is a three-night event collected of extravagant dance numbers and a variety of costumes, the last major performance of the Strutters season. The Spectacular Show was scheduled for Thursday, March 26 and Saturday, March 28 for public viewing in Evans Auditorium. The Strutters invited various dance teams for a special viewing of the show on Friday, March 27.
The thought of live-streaming the show circulated the team but with the current ban on gatherings of 10 or more people, that option was eliminated for the drill team.
Ravyn Ammons, journalism senior and head captain of the Strutters, said she was devastated to see all the preparation and sacrifices she has made not culminate into the Spectacular Show.
“When I describe it to people it seems dramatic but I felt like someone died,” Ammons said.
Ammons said to make morning practices, she would skip class and would miss out on many nights of sleep to choreograph dances. She said preparation for the show took a team effort to make video edits acting as fillers between dances and night trips to the auditorium for sound checks.
“(The Strutters) do a lot to prepare for three little shows because it is a big deal,” Ammons said. “Especially for those who won’t be able to come back next year and redeem themselves.”
The Strutters have been an emblem in Texas State’s community for 60 years and this year will be the first time in history that the show will not go on.
Kaycee Swierc, theater senior, was set to make her solo directing debut at Texas State with the production of “Almost Maine.” However, with lots of determination to continue the show, opening night Friday, April 3 was pushed back by two weeks.
With the constant news of remote learning by neighboring universities and other Texas State productions forcing an abrupt end, Swierc said she made the heartbreaking decision to cancel the show on her own. She said the most important thing became to ensure the safety of her cast and crew.
Swierc said it is devastating not to be able to showcase her final project as a student as well as not giving a proper goodbye to the peers she has grown close to.
“There is something about being in a Bachelors of Fine Arts program for four years with a group of 11 people,” Swierc said. “We know each other better than anyone else is ever going to know us. We’ve seen each other at our worst, we have seen each other at our best, we’ve seen each other grow in our work and have seen our interests change.”
Swierc said during her time in her program she has steered away from acting and has found a love for being behind the scenes like directing.
“(Almost Maine) was my hello to a new beginning,” Swierc said. “That being cut short gave me a lack of closure and stability I was hoping to receive making this career choice.”
In a professional setting like a recital hall, performance majors look forward to individually showcase their musical growth acquired in the academic school year to their peers and professors.
Matthew Naizer, music performance senior with a guitar concentration, said he learned over nine musical pieces since last year to prepare for his senior performance.
With the constraints of people in group settings, Naizer said the senior show will now consist of only himself performing in front of a panel consisting of three professors. He said his family and friends are no longer able to witness the progress he has made since the beginning of his senior year.
“It is similar to sporting events losing their fans,” Naizer said. “It doesn’t feel the same without having people there supporting you.”
While an extended vacation to some students, many seniors view the event cancellations as a missed opportunity to say farewell to programs that hold a piece of their heart.

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