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Wichita musicians adjust to life without concerts, performances

Coronavirus in Kansas

WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Gathering bans and social distancing guidelines have effectively canceled most concerts and performances in the Wichita area. Many area performers are missing out on income that came from paid gigs.

Rachelle Goter is a clarinetist for the Wichita Symphony Orchestra who says the pandemic has allowed her to reinvent her passion for music. Goter began teaching music for Wichita State and performing with her husband and children for people via FaceTime and socially-distanced garage concerts for neighbors.

“I’m really inspired when I see all the limitations we have and people are being creative and reinventing things and persevering. I’m just really, really inspired by that ability to just keep going but in a new way,” Goter said.

With some instruments, like guitars, musicians can play with a mask on. While performing for church congregations, Goter comes out with a mask on, takes it off to play, then returns it to her face when done. She says she has learned a lot about aerosols and droplets while performing.

Over the last month, Goter said gigs and limited performances have come back slowly.

“I found that when I would practice, I would feel whole again. Even playing for myself was very important and very uplifting,” Goter said.

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