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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

A Time to Heal: Wind Symphony Concert Amidst a Pandemic


On Tuesday, November 16th, 2021 at 7:30pm, the Westfield State University Wind Symphony performed their fall concert, “A Time to Heal.” This was the first in-person performance after almost two years, and was held in the Catherine Dower Center in room 134. 

Under the direction of Dr. Karen LaVoie, the Wind Symphony meets on Monday afternoons and Tuesday nights, practicing an array of pieces from marches to dances. Instrument selections include flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, bass clarinet, trombone, string bass, percussion, baritone, and tuba.

Westfield State University  describes the Wind Symphony as, “a concert band open to all WSU students, regardless of major, through the completion of a placement audition. Dedicated to the finest in wind instrument literature, the Wind Symphony performs several concerts a year, both on and off campus.” 

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, making music became impossible, as protocols forbid the act of playing together in the same room. 

However the end of 2021,  music makers have found unique ways to bring their sounds back together in a safe way: bell covers must be worn over the bells of instruments (where the sound is mainly projected), “music masks” are to be worn when playing (a specialized mask with a flap designed to be open while one plays their instrument, but still promotes mask safety), and brass players (trumpets, trombones, etc) are told to bring puppy pee-pads to allow them to empty their spit valves and discard the spit after playing. 

If it all sounds crazy, it kind of is! But it’s what needs to be done in order for music to continue on, and to allow students and faculty of the performing arts to continue to do what they love.

While only a select audience were invited to attend this performance in person, everyone can now tune into the video found on YouTube.
The link can be found at on the Westfield State University Department of Music page.

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