SFA Wind Ensemble students falling victim to 'Music Building Plague'

SFA Wind Ensemble students falling victim to 'Music Building Plague'

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A flu bug is traveling through Stephen F. Austin State University's Music Building.

It's not an epidemic because so far, it's bitten, for the most part, the Wind Ensemble.

However, it's bad enough that the illness has been given a unique name by students, faculty, and staff. Enter the SFA Music Building, and you may come out with more than a tune in your head.

"It's known as 'the Music Building Plague,'" said Cesar Montelongo, a Wind Ensemble member.

As recent as last week more than 20 students, about a third of the SFA Wind Ensemble, came down sick with flu-like symptoms at the same time. Oboist Trent Weaver knew he was feeling crummy, but like a diligent college student, he persevered.

"At one point, I think I was running a 101 or 102 for two days, and I still went to all five rehearsals I had to go to two days, so might have been me spreading the joy a little bit," Weaver said.

The Wind Ensemble was rehearsing for its annual Houston high school tour scheduled to happen Monday.

Lumberjacks make great musicians except when they're sick, so the decision was made to cancel the tour.

"It was a hard decision to make," said Dr. Fred Allen, the director of bands at SFA. "The day I had to announce it, the students, I hated to tell them that, but after that decision was made on Friday and Saturday, I did get news that even more students who had previously not reported being sick who had come down with it."

Music service organizations took it upon themselves to grab the Clorox to fight the music building plague.

"And we wiped down everything in the Music Building that you could possible touch," said Garrett Nichols, a Wind Ensemble member. "The handrails, the light switches, the elevator buttons, stands, pianos, chairs."

Students are receiving the "wash your hands frequently" talk. Hopefully, they'll remember the advice. The next big gig is in November for the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

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