Band and Choir Masks

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Erin Edmond

Erin 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. 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. The choice to require that students throughout the district must wear masks, even when doing extracurricular activities is one that has caused some discomfort and debate.

“It’s nice to be back and I’m doing what admin tells me to do but I do not think it’s fair that we have to wear special masks when close proximity sports don’t” says Jillian Huey, junior. This student brings up a thought many have shared, how are people deciding to regulate these masks and what authority do they have to decide who gets to wear what?

“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, who is thankful to have both safety and in-person band. Both Calderon and Sheri Nelson, Choir director, strictly enforce the masks, regardless of personal opinion.

Though these masks can complicate breathing and pronunciation while singing, it is a necessary measure to be able to play inside. 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.