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Playing Safe

Below are the past season's COVID-19 protocols for reference. The LYO made serious efforts to provide very safe learning environments and concert experiences for its many students. We will monitor the news and local data before making any decisions about whether to continue, modify, or discontinue these expectations for the 2022-2023 season. We sincerely hope that such extensive protocols will not be necessary.  To our knowledge, there was no spread of COVID-19 between individuals in any LYO activities due to our thoughtful safety measures and our students' cooperation.

2021-2022 LYO Playing Safe Protocols

As an important safety measure for the 2021-2022 season, the LYO staff and student musicians will wear masks and, if appropriate, use bell covers until further notice. Rehearsals will begin at varying intervals to minimize crowds forming as students enter. Parents are not permitted to enter YPAS, the St Matthews Pavilion, or any alternate rehearsal spaces.

Masks and Bell Covers

Wind musicians (flute, piccolo, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, horn, trumpet, trombone, euphonium, tuba) should plan to purchase and use their own performance masks and bell covers in rehearsals and concerts this year. These reduce the spread of aerosols from the musician's nose and from the bell of the instrument. When wind students are not performing, we ask students to place a normal mask over (or in place of) the performance mask due to its opening. Wind performance masks are available from many vendors, including on Amazon. However, here is a well-regarded option to consider for your purchase: Performance Masks for Winds 

Additional options are available below from last year's useful links.

Brass instruments should bring a towel for condensation collection (emptying the spit valve).

DIY Short-Term Options

We understand some winds players may not have a performance mask ready for the first rehearsal. In that case, please cut a small mid-to-low horizontal opening in a regular or disposable mask for your mouthpiece or reed, while ensuring your nose will still remain covered. Please watch this video for an example. Flutists, however, should attach a small cover as seen in this DIY mask video

Short-term bell covers can be made using surgical mask material or stretchable fabric and an elastic tie. Here is one example. Tuba players who need a large short-term option can try this technique. Horn players may try this DIY cover using tights but we recommend speaking with your private teacher about better options. 

Screening and Breaks

All students will be expected to answer screening questions related to their recent and current health before entering the rehearsal rooms or performance halls. Disinfectant wipes or solution will be available for any students wishing to clean their chair or music stand. Hand sanitizer will also be available for use. Conductors will ensure that ensembles take 10-15 minute breaks during rehearsals to clear the room after 40 minutes intervals. Students at YPAS will take breaks outdoors, barring inclement weather. Students in the St Matthews Pavilion will take distanced breaks in the main gallery and/or hall. 

Distancing by Ensemble

  • Concert and Serenade Orchestras will have distancing measures in place of 3-4 feet during rehearsals. Those ensembles do not include wind instruments. 

  • Horizons Wind and Brass Ensembles will also distance at a minimum of 3-4 feet during rehearsals.

  • Repertory and Symphony Orchestras are larger and will aim to distance as they are able within the given rehearsal rooms. Winds players in particular will be expected to distance at 3 feet during rehearsals, as spaces permit. These two ensembles primarily include students whose ages are eligible for vaccination. 

  • Percussion students will aim to distance as they are able within the percussion room and in large ensemble rehearsals. Larger instruments such as xylophones, marimba, and timpani will determine some spacing considerations. This group includes students whose ages are eligible for vaccination.

  • Students will be 1 to a music stand.

1.  Bell covers for wind and brass players:

Aerosol studies have found that a double layer masks with merv-13 filters are the best at reducing aerosols. This company has double layer masks with merv-13 filter:

The following company sells double layer masks without the merv-13 filter:      


2. Overlapping masks for wind and brass players:

Studies have also found that wearing a mask decreases aerosols emitted in the air. A pattern to make an overlapping mask is available at and items are for purchase at: 


3.  Condensation collection for brass:

All brass players need to bring a towel of some kind (not a paper towel) onto which they can release the condensation build-up from their instruments.  This towel must be taken home after rehearsal. 

COVID-19 Instrument Cleaning Guidelines from the NFHS, NAfME and NAMM Foundation

Previous links for wind and brass players (2020-2021 Season)

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