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University of Scranton music program getting creative to keep students involved

Students are back on campus at the University of Scranton. But that doesn't mean all the programs and activities are back to normal.

SCRANTON, Pa. — Students who take performance music classes at the University of Scranton are tuning up for another semester.

But for those who sing in the choir or play woodwind instruments, such as the clarinet or the saxophone, which require you to use your mouth, COVID-19 almost got in the way of their ability to make music.

"I was like okay, is there a way we can do this, where we don't have this aerosolization all over from singing and playing instruments and still give them an opportunity to make music together because that's so important for young people at every level because it allows them to bond and communicate with one another," said Music Director and Conductor Cheryl Boga.

Choir members and woodwind instrument players now have the option of learning how to play a new instrument, one that allows them to keep their masks on.

University alumni funded the purchase of brand new percussion and string instruments.

 "It means that myself and all my peers still have an outlet to express ourselves, everything asides from all the studying and the rigor of our academics," said Michael Deutsch, a University of Scranton Junior.

Michael Deutsch, Sara Pellegrino, and Ashley Mullan all play string instruments, and they're looking forward to watching their classmates learn how to play with them. 

"It's exciting; it's a family here. We love to watch each other play and learn together, and I'm excited to make the family bigger," said Ashley Mullan, a University of Scranton junior.

And for students who were disappointed by the idea that they might not have any music this semester, it means everything.

"I wish that it wouldn't be violating privacy, sorry I'm crying a little bit, to read you some of the emails I got. It means a lot," said Boga.

Music is like one of my favorite things to do on campus; I don't do much else. So it's the one saving grace, I think, of this upcoming semester to still be able to do what I love," said Sara Pellegrino, a University of Scranton Senior.