student wearing mask playing flute

Bands and choruses in the South Seneca School District have adapted to ensure the safety of students who wish to continue participating in scholastic music programs.

All curricular ensembles have been taking place this year. For students who have been attending school in person, music programs have been set up to accommodate social distancing. For Middle-High School music programs, this has meant moving from the standard band and chorus rooms into the auditorium, with plastic chairs being used in the aisles that can be easily sanitized between uses.

“We are so fortunate that the South Seneca School District has been so supportive both curricularly and financially of all of the health and safety considerations needed to maintain our performing ensembles,” said David Turken, the Band Director for grades 6-12. “Even though our programs are greatly different than they have been in the past, our students and staff are very happy to be able to be able to make music together again!”

Custom band and chorus masks as well as instrument bell covers for the students have been hand-made by independent vendors and our Falcon Music Boosters, and have been financially supported by the South Seneca School District. For chorus, the masks are structured to provide shape while breathing in to make singing easier. In band a number of different masks and instrument bell covers safely provide protection for students and those around them while still facilitating playing the instrument. All instrument bell covers utilize a layer of MERV-13 air filtration. The safety precautions continue to evolve as new research and information emerges.

Students can also participate in music programs during virtual learning. Students can tune in live to practice songs as a group, recording the parts individually to account for delays from an online setting.

While live performances are not feasible this school year, the music programs have plans to create virtual band and chorus performances and share recordings to display the students’ talent and hard work.