Music majors voice minor concern

MUSC courses will now use the “SPRS” designation, short for “super-spreader”

BY CLARA NETTIS, Staff, cleff and time signature writer
Photo courtesy of @XavierUniveristyMusic on Instagram
Many music courses at Xavier University have continued to meet regardless of the heightened risk of contracting COVID-19. Students have expressed their disagreement with the new safety measures that were put in place.

Many music courses have continued in earnest this semester, despite growing concerns over the courses’s heightened risk of COVID-19 transmission. In order to combat this, the music department has taken several steps to eliminate higher-risk activities. 

New precautions will include social distancing and mask-wearing, which have been difficult to attain as of yet this fall. Some students expressed concern with the feasibility of the new rules’ implementations. 

“Have you seen Edgecliff Hall?” euphonium player Igor Stradinsky asked. “You couldn’t socially distance two people in there.”  

“How am I supposed to play violin with a mask on?” Joanna Brahms said, clearly playing a string instrument wildly incorrectly.

Other students were less accepting of the new guidelines. 

“All of these precautions are for the greater good, but it really diminishes the fun parts of making music,” tuba player Leonard Berenstein-Bare said. “Is it even really an orchestra if I can’t dump the contents of my spit valve on my classmates?” 

“I’m supposed to lead this ensemble,” first clarinetist Galex Gudzynski, who asked that we use a false name in order to protect their anonymity, said. “And for the sake of our musical togetherness, if I get COVID-19, I should be able to give to everyone else so that no one can replace me in the concert.” 

The music department also includes theater students, who have predominantly learned via hybrid or remote learning opportunities this semester. Many think that reopening the theater program could result in a major public health crisis for the university. 

“If college theater is anything like high school theater, I’m pretty sure they’re just all f*cking each other all the time,” said junior English major Kev E. Yaa, former assistant stage manager of Covington Catholic’s all-male production of Fiddler on the Roof.

“I’m not even worried about COVID-19; it seems more like a chlamydia kind of thing,” he said.  

Students involved in vocal programs have noted that they have been unable to take in-person classes while other music students have. The disparity has been a source of significant tension within the department. 

“I just don’t understand what the difference is,” soprano Giuliana Puccini belted. “A trumpet player gets to spit germs on all his classmates just because he pushes that spit through a big piece of metal?” 

The minor changes have led to major discomfort within the department, leading university lawyers to make some preemptive changes for liability reasons. Courses designated “MUSC,” for music, will now be designated “SPRS,” for super-spreader. 

“It really just tells students that if they get COVID-19 from sitting in a crowded room full of students who aren’t wearing a mask or sitting six feet away from each other, then that’s their fault,” lawyer John Jargenson said. 

“Like, Xavier literally threatened to expel students for doing that if it’s at their own house. So… yeah. Seems pretty obvious,” Jargenson added.