Choir and Band Classes Able to Rehearse In Person Under Updated Guidelines

Bridget Nelis

Many classes have been impacted by COVID-19, but two classes that have been hit the hardest are choir and band.

Before March 1, choir and band classes were not allowed to rehearse in person. Now they are allowed to rehearse in person, but there are some changes put in place to try to protect everyone.

For wind instruments and vocalists, we have to be spaced at least six feet apart. And we can only rehearse for 30 minutes, and then we have to vacate the space to allow the air to exchange three times,” said John Wojciechowski, band teacher.

Students also have been given special masks to use while rehearsing in person. 

“We have these special masks for singers that have this piece built out in the front,” said Michael Molloy, choir teacher.

Band also has special masks to use when playing their instruments.

“We have face masks that have a hole in it, but it’s like their flaps, so when you put the mouthpiece of the instrument in, it seals back around it,” said Wojciechowski.

Band students also have covers that go over the ends of their instruments.

“You put this cover over your instrument, and it’s got a filter in it, so that way any aerosols can get trapped in it, and it doesn’t get out,” said Wojciechowski.

Students in their band practice during their classes while wearing their special masks. (John Wojciechowski)

Before they were allowed to rehearse in person, choir and band students did other activities on the days they were in person.

“Mostly, it was them listening to the materials that we were going to be working on in school, and then some other things related to music reading and music literacy,” said Molloy.

Students and teachers agree that being able to rehearse in person has made the classes better.

“I was able to rehearse in person, and it’s way better because we’re actually singing, and I know what I’m singing about because it’s hard to learn at home,” said Samantha Lezondra, senior Chorale member.

“It’s a lot more fun. We used to just listen to music or do recordings at home, and then compile them all together to make one video, but now we actually get to do the work with everyone else,” said Eileen Sheetz, junior Wind Ensemble and Jazz Workshop member

Teachers are also hopeful that they will be able to record their concert in person together as opposed to previous concerts this year where everyone recorded their individual parts at home to be compiled into one video.

Though they weren’t able to rehearse in person until now, everyone is looking forward to making more music together.

“Being able to play music has been great, and it’s just really lifted everyone’s spirits,” said Wojciechowski.