In Texas, Jean Hall, the executive director of the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra, was searching for a way for musicians in her organization’s four ensembles to rehearse and perform safely this fall. For string and percussion musicians, it’s not difficult to play while wearing a face mask, but things are more complicated for wind and brass players. Hall, who plays French horn and is an amateur seamstress, had already been making masks to donate to the community during the summer, and her sister is a professional seamstress who plays the clarinet. The two of them designed “Play It Safe” cotton masks with openings for mouthpieces for woodwind and brass musicians. The woodwind mask (above, shown with clarinet mouthpiece) features a horizontal opening; the brass version has a center opening. Wind and brass musicians also use bell covers sewn with double-layer cotton fabric and secured with adjustable drawstring. The youth orchestra’s first concert of the season is planned for November.
Caption: A saxophonist and trombonist in the Wichita Falls Youth Symphony Orchestra with their new “Play It Safe” masks.