Yoe Band sporting new kind of mask this season
The Yoe High Band is sporting a new kind of mask as it performs at football games this season.
The Yoe Band Boosters recently purchased face masks that will allow band members to play their instruments while still wearing a mask.
The Yoe Band is the first band in Texas to have this new technology available to them.
Yoe Band Booster President Juan Ramirez said the masks were developed by the New Mexico State University Band.
Katelyn Zuments, uniform manager for the Pride of New Mexico and a sophomore mechanical engineering student at NMSU, designed the face masks that allow band members to play their instruments while remaining COVID-19 safe.
Pride Band Director and NMSU Associate Director of Bands Steven Smyth said the mask designs, produced by The Print Guys in Las Cruces, are now being used at universities and high schools nationwide, and have raised $12,000 for music scholarships at NMSU. That includes a scholarship for mask designer Zuments.
“It just kind of happened,” said Zuments, who worked on the mask designs along with her mom. “It’s really cool, because it means more kids get to do music this year.”
One mask design for flute players features a horizontal hole with a flap, while the second mask design for brass and woodwind instruments features an offset vertical hole. Both masks are kept sealed to the instruments with the help of magnets.
“We’ve sold 12,000 masks to about nine different universities, including Oklahoma State and University of Massachusetts. We also have 20 to 30 high schools across the nation using them,” Smyth said, adding that The Print Guys had to hire additional staff to keep up with the demand.
Smyth said $1 from each mask sale is going toward music scholarships at NMSU. Most recently, Smyth worked with Las Cruces Public Schools to create a mask featuring the NMSU and LCPS branding.
Ramirez said the Yoe Band Boosters are looking for community partners to help provide the masks for the band to keep the students safe this marching season.
He will be promoting the masks in the area including a segment on KCEN-TV today with Heidi Alagha.
You can contact Ramirez if you would like to help the band out with this purchase.
Ramirez said the Boosters haven’t been able to have their regular fundraisers during football games this year and they are trying to be creative with raising funds to help with the band this year.