The Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra (CYSO) welcomed woodwind and brass students to return for in-person rehearsals February 1.
The CYSO’s 31st season started as scheduled in September. In October, the string and percussion students began a hybrid model that included both in-person and virtual rehearsals, with in-person rehearsals being held at Annapolis Evangelical Lutheran Church in Edgewater, Maryland. Due to the lack of safety equipment along with insufficient research done on the spread of aerosols with regard to COVID-19, the CYSO’s woodwind and brass students remained virtual at the beginning of the season.
With the support and a generous grant from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County, the CYSO was able to purchase three paneled standing plexiglass shields to place between the winds and brass students to help mitigate the spread of aerosols. In addition to the shields, the CYSO also provided students with bell covers and special masks made specifically for each wind and brass instrument. The CYSO is taking every safety precaution pursuant to county, state and Centers for Disease Control guidelines to allow for a safe return, however, students and families have the option to attend rehearsals virtually.
In following guidelines, students are seated at a minimum of six feet apart from side to side with nine feet between the two rows, front to back. Every chair is wiped down with sanitizing wipes. Students arrive masked and forehead temperatures are taken. Hand sanitizer is used, and students who do not feel well are asked to remain at home and attend the rehearsal virtually.
“Due to the pandemic, this season has had its share of challenges, more so than previous seasons,” said Leah O’Brien, president of the CYSO board of directors. “However, with every obstacle presented, the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra has remained devoted to the students and the mission of providing the highest quality of music education.
“Beethoven said, ‘To play a wrong note is insignificant; to play without passion is inexcusable,’” O’Brien added. “Passion and dedication for our students and their continued success is the driving force behind every decision we make. We know the power of music and its ability to heal.”
To learn more about the Chesapeake Youth Symphony, visit www.cysomusic.org or call 443-758-3157.
The Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County.
The CYSO has provided students with bell covers and special masks made specifically for each wind and brass instrument.