New Masks For Choir and Band

Photo+by+Erin+E.+Edmond

Erin E. Edmond

Photo by Erin E. Edmond

Erin E. Edmond, Staff Writer

Beginning the 2021-22 school year, the bands and choirs in the Chaffey Joint Union High School District have implemented special masks to ensure the safety of students indoors. The specialized band masks have a hole in them for reeds and mouthpieces, and the choir masks, “duck masks”, have extra fabric in the center that allows for talking, singing, and pronunciation without any fabric touching their lips.

When the US realized that students needed to go back to school in person safely, these new masks began to be introduced. Various music companies, t-shirt companies, etc. began to produce masks in this style, designed specifically for bands and choirs. In the Chaffey Joint Union High School District, once it was decided that schools would be entirely in person, masks for band and choir were bought and distributed throughout the entire district.

“It follows protocol and it allows us to be indoors, which we want to be, especially during the school day, it’s difficult to have a class outside” commented Joe Calderon, band director.

Calderon is enforcing wearing these masks by reminding students that the alternative is playing outside in the heat, and though it requires time to adjust and set up, the director is grateful to be able to play in person with the band. Sheri Nelson, choir teacher, will have students sing outside if they are not wearing masks properly.

The choir wears masks and socially distances in order to play inside, and though this can complicate breathing and pronunciation while singing, it is a necessary measure to be able to play outside. Fortunately, the masks required are fairly comfortable and realistically a good choice. The band also utilizes bell covers, which catch any spit from instruments and prevents germs from spreading around the room.