Masked melodies

Band and choir members at TAHS aren’t letting masks — and instrument covers — deter them from their love of all things music

By Per Peterson

Tracy Area High School eighth-graders are spending their entire school days at the Veterans Memorial Center, but other students are going off campus as well. And they’re not letting that, or the masks they have to wear because of COVID-19 guidelines, muffle their voices.

Some 80 members of the senior high choir rehearse each day at The Caboose on the highway. Choir class, like other classes, is affected by “A” and “B” schedules throughout the week. The senior high choir is bused there on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays on “A” weeks and Tuesdays and Thursdays during “B” weeks.

Choir director Wendy Johnson said the first rehearsals at The Caboose went well, and her students have been in good spirits.

“I think they’re glad that we can even have choir,” she said. “Students are spread out 6 feet apart, and from front to back it’s 12 feet, while staggering the rows.  Singing with a mask on is not fun, but it has been proven to reduce the amount of aerosols circulating around. So if we all do our part, I think we can keep rehearsing. The room worked well with the sound system I brought in and a wireless head set for a mic. We also have the digital piano, with Vicki Streifel accompanying, and my new student teacher, Rachel Blake, from SMSU.”

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.