SCHERTZ, Texas — Singing with a mask on can be a challenge, but now, functional PPE is saving the day for choir students in Schertz.
Teens at SCUCISD’s Samuel Clemens High School will wear specially designed face masks at their upcoming concert.
The masks are just one step students are taking to ensure a safe performance.
This week, choir students are in their final rehearsals ahead of a Christmas concert taking place Tuesday, December 15th.
It will be their first, in-person performance in a year.
“I think it's going to feel great,” said SCHS Senior Alyssa Lozano. “We haven't done anything like this in a very long time. I think it's just going to be nice for not just us, but for the audience.”
Along with social distancing, there will be limited tickets for the concert and spaced seating. Masks are also required.
Upon closer inspection, you’ll notice the students’ masks are extra special.
“It has like a cage almost around it and it just allows us to open up our jaw more and get like these cool vowels,” explained SCHS Sophomore Olivia Garcia.
Choir Director Jessalyn Specht found the ingenious invention that will help keep students safe without compromising their voices.
“At one point they were saying that choirs were super spreaders because …we're expelling vapors,” said Specht. “The singing community started pulling together. How can we solve this problem so that singing can still happen safely? Several people and companies have been putting together singing masks.”
To purchase the masks, Specht used money in her budget that wasn’t spent on travel this year. Featuring the school’s logo, the singing masks cost under $13 apiece.
SCHS Junior Eian Estes demonstrated the difference. With a regular mask, his singing was muffled. After a quick change to the singing mask, his voice rang out much clearer.
Specht says the singing masks are thicker than a traditional mask and fit snug against the face so droplets can’t escape.
“It's tight on our face and it keeps us safe,” said Garcia. “If we get to sing and we have a good mask, then I think that's perfect.”
The performance may look different this year, but the choir is excited to find a safe way to share some Christmas cheer.
“I always love the unity when we come together and sing and how powerful it can really be,” said Estes. “It just makes me really happy to be a part of something like that.”