The show must go on at PSU
PITTSBURG, Ks. – Garrett Manasco is a Pitt State junior who’s been playing the trombone since 6th grade, and thanks to some pandemic-related safety changes made by the college, he’ll get to keep playing with his fellow music majors.
“As musicians, we’re just chompin’ at the bit to get back at it. And it just feels so great to get back to playing trombone with a group of people again,” said Garrett.
Garrett and other Pitt state student musicians will soon be performing the college’s first concert of the year, although this one will be of the virtual variety.
They may be performing to an empty Bicknell Family Center for the Arts due to COVID-19 precautions, but with an online audience the crowd size is limitless.
“I have a lot of family around the United States and not all of them can drive to Pittsburg State to watch a concert, so it’s just as easy as clicking a link on the internet,” said Garrett.
The college’s pandemic safety measures don’t stop with an empty auditorium. The musicians have all been given specialized masks that allow them to play.
“We found these things. This happens to be called a ‘Grazer.’ It’s a slotted mask. And so you can see, I can put the mouth piece here, play, and when I’m done playing. It closes,” said music professor Robert Kehle as he showed off the specialized mask.
But it’s not just musicians’ faces that require masks. Certain instruments also need a specialized mask known as a “bell mask” to stop potential coronavirus spread.
Face masks and bell masks aren’t optimal when it comes to producing the highest quality sound, but they’re still music to these musicians’ ears since they allow concert season to commence.
“The students have risen to the task, and it’s like the bigger the challenge, the bigger their effort. It’s been really exciting and I’ve been really proud to watch it all come together,” said assistant music professor Andrew Chybowski.