Music Program Continues Under Covid


The socially distanced music space.

Yubin Hyung

Under Covid, instrumental and vocal programs have faced a lot of challenges, including at Kent. With the social distancing set at 6 feet, it was impossible to find a space to fit the larger ensembles. Because of COVID-19 protocols, the Kent School Symphony Orchestra, Concert Choir, and Concert Band were unable to meet this fall, but many musicians were able to continue to participate thanks to the creation of smaller ensembles. 

The String Orchestra meets each Monday night, with players masked and sitting six feet apart. The Band had to split into two groups, Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, which meet in two separate locations on Tuesday nights. Flute players are masked while playing, and other wind players, such as brass or clarinet players, are unmasked only when they are playing. For the jazz bands, the instructions for masks are the same. 

For the Choirs, each singer should be 12 feet apart in the chapel with their resonance masks on. Because it is challenging for the singers to sing with ordinary masks, singers were required to to make a one-time purchase of their special masks which control aerosolized particles and make it easier for singers to be heard. 

The music lesson program also faced a few changes. In all music lesson rooms, the School has installed plexi-glass barriers between the instructor and the student. With masks on, except for the wind players when playing, the instructor and the student stand or sit diagonally at least 6 feet apart. 

Mrs. Hobbs, the Chair of the Music Department, acknowledges that the changes are difficult, saying that “We are hopeful to get back to our usual routine.” She is very proud, though, of how well the “music team” came together and met the challenges of creating a vibrant music program for our students despite the restrictions of the pandemic.