The Band Plays On: MCA Band Adapts to COVID-19 Preparations
The Maranatha Christian Academy Band Department is not letting the COVID-19 Pandemic stifle its sound. Band officials had to scramble to come up with a way to keep students safe while also allowing musicians to play.
“Let’s go! Music is important,” said Band Director Gerritt Van Otterloo. “It’s important for our kids. They need to create music.”
Van Otterloo enlisted his mother-in-law, who is a seamstress, and she designed masks for musical instruments. For brass instruments, she made a device that looks like a shower cap. It covers the opening of instruments and catches any aerosols as students play.
But, the musical masks take some getting used to.
“It’s kind of easy because I played the year before, and I know all the notes and everything,” said musician Celeste Barnard. “It would have been harder last year because it was my first year. “
Students also social distance, but even that scenario is problematic.
“Earlier, we were closer to each other so that we could hear each other’s parts. I think it was better that way, but now we can’t do that,” explained percussionist Emanual Yareg.
While the musicians had to make adjustments, they say the minor inconvenience is worth it, as long as they can keep making music.