WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - The Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra is making sure students never have to sacrifice their love of playing music for their safety by creating special masks that students can wear while they play.
“The kids have been great, they’ve all said ‘okay we’ll wear the masks’ because making music is important to them,” said Jean Hall, Executive Director of Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestra has undergone some major changes in the way they perform and rehearse since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
“There were specific studies on performing arts groups and the recommendations were you seat certain instruments certain feet a part and then they wear masks and use bell covers,” said Hall.
However wearing masks and playing most instrument at the same time can be almost impossible. That’s why the YSO has created special masks for brass and woodwind instrument players.
“Strings players and the percussion players, they just wear regular masks because there’s nothing involved with playing their instrument and the masks and the brass players, we have one for them where the mouthpiece can be inserted straight to the front,” said Hall.
Hall, a trumpet player, enlisted the help of her sister for making the perfect masks for those who play woodwind instruments.
“I play clarinet and later learned oboe, the design we choose is the pleated masks that leaves the end opening in the center for the mouthpiece to slide through,” said Mary Shackleford, seamstress and sister of Jean Hall.
YSO flute players also have special masks to wear while playing that were not designed by the orchestra, but because of their other innovations the music and learning will go on.
For more information on the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra, visit their website.