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NMSU Pride band develops special masks that are distributed nationwide

NMSU pride band face masks
KVIA
A student wears an NMSU Pride band face mask.

LAS CRUCES, New Mexico -- New Mexio State University's "Pride of New Mexico," known for being the "World's Most Dangerous Band," is hoping to become the world's safest.

NMSU Pride band member Katelyn Zuments developed a special mask that's now being distributed to universities and high schools nationwide.

Pride band director Steven Smyth told ABC-7 that after asking Zuments - a sophomore engineering student - to help him with his idea for making a special mask, she came with two different special masks: one for brass instruments and other for the flute.

As of Thursday, 14,000 masks had been sold. Each mask costs $1, which goes directly to scholarship funds including one for Zuments.

The program is also finding other ways to keep students safe, including using large hula hoops to socially distance, buying new lyres - a piece attached to their instruments that will hold their phones allowing them to read their sheet music - and giving each student nail bags that will hold hand and instrument sanitizers.

Smyth said he'll be splitting up his group of 235 students into smaller groups that will rotate and play different genres of music this season.

With football season coming, Smyth said with the support of NMSU Athletics he guarantees the band will be at their football games in some way shape or form.

“The students really wanted to march, so we’re going to do pre-game (performances), we’re going to do a halftime show, we’re going to modify some other things so that — whether we get to perform them or not in a traditional sense -- they will get to at least have a close to traditional year,” Smyth said.

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Brianna Chavez

Brianna Chavez is an ABC-7 reporter/producer.

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