To help band members stay safe against COVID-19, many companies have created musician face masks that accommodate mouthpieces as well as instrument covers for brass and winds. McCormick’s has designed several solutions unique to different instruments.
McCormick’s bell covers for trumpets, trombones, mellophones, euphoniums, and tubas replicated the company’s existing sousaphone cover design. Bell covers have two layers and are made from polyester/spandex fabric. Schools have the option to print a custom design on the bell covers.
The cover for French horns posed an interesting problem with a novel solution. Because the musician’s right hand must go inside the horn, “we created … a compression sleeve [that] the arm can go in,” says Alan Yefsky, president and chief executive officer. “It allows the musician to play the instrument but still have … the barrier.”
For clarinets, oboes, saxophones, and flutes, McCormick’s designed bag-shaped covers that seal the bell and tone holes. Instrument covers are created from heavy-duty nylon fabric. To find the perfect material, McCormick’s used a decibel meter to test how different fabrics altered sound. “We had to choose a fabric that had enough structure that it would keep the bag away from the instrument,” Yefsky says.
A drawstring and elastic around the access holes for the musician’s hands keep the bag tight around the instrument.
Instrument covers can help school bands continue to operate as normally as possible. “Everybody’s doing what they can … to protect the other students and faculty,” Yefsky says.