Making Music in Masks

As students transitioned from remote learning to in-person learning, the music department changed in many different ways. Mr. Acrish, Mrs. Denler, and Mrs. Morabito are working together to create COVID-safe environments in their classrooms. 


Mr. Acrish is working hard to follow CDC guidelines when it comes to playing wind instruments. Normally-shared instruments, like the guitars in his guitar ensemble, have been labeled individually to ensure a safer environment for students. Students are more heedful of their instruments than ever, making sure they aren’t breaking any rules. Masks are always worn, even while playing instruments. Musicians are instructed to bring a mask that has a hole cut into it so they can play their instrument while covering their face as much as possible. Brass instruments are even required to have covers on their bells to be safer. The band did a wonderful job at their Homecoming performance. We can’t wait to see what they do next!

“Even though we have to play with masks, it has still been really fun to make music together during this hard time” – Senior Isabella Zahl, flute & piccolo player


Mrs. Morabito is so joyous to have her whole orchestra back in-person this year! Her classroom chairs are all three feet apart and masks are required. Instruments are numbered and not shared between musicians. Students are more mindful with instruments, especially while putting them away in the usually crowded storage room. Everybody is excited for the orchestra to perform together at the Pumpkin Pops concert!

“Music is a universal language in which I find an escape. I am so glad we can finally play together and perform for our families.” – Senior Sarah Brizzi, violinist 


Singing with masks on doesn’t sound very fun, but students are following CDC guidelines to the best of their abilities. All students in the choir sit three feet apart, are always wearing masks, and are not prohibited to sing for more than thirty minutes at a time to ensure safety for everybody. After a year of singing virtually, students are thrilled to be singing with their friends again. Run by Mrs. Denler, the choruses are working hard on their music and can’t wait to perform at their December concert. 

“At the end of the day, we are a family. A family that creates beautiful art to spread to our community and world” – Senior Daniel Saleem, singer

United Sound

United Sound is a program run by Mrs. Morabito that we are proud to offer at Hendrick Hudson. Students in our SAILOR program are offered a music class where mentors (older students) teach them how to play a string instrument. Usually, this class is a physical one, using techniques like hand-over-hand while teaching instruments. However, due to COVID, the United Sound program has had to adapt to these changes. Now, mentors are trying to find new ways to teach their new musicians in a safe, COVID-friendly environment. Students are working hard to make everyone feel comfortable and safe. The United Sound program is even hoping to perform in one of the Spring concerts!

Each ensemble is working hard to follow CDC guidelines and create a safe environment for students and staff. Community-building seems hard during a pandemic, but music brings all of us together. It is important to keep up these efforts in order to regain a sense of normalcy in our music department. We can’t wait to see the wonderful performances these groups bring us!