Even through a pandemic, the beat goes on.
The Bryan City Band recently announced it has received approval from Bryan Mayor Carrie Schlade and the Williams County Health Department to start up for the summer.
“I think this is the 166th or 167th consecutive year. We really don’t want to break the string, the band members didn’t, the mayor didn’t, I certainly don’t want to on my watch,” said Conductor Terry Krause. “It’s a valuable thing to the community, both to the audience and the people performing.”
The first of the band’s open rehearsals/concerts will be held Wednesday, July 1, at the MacDonald-Ruff Ice Arena on Townline Road. The ice rink was chosen instead of the bandstand on courthouse square, where the band usually plays when the weather cooperates, to allow for ample social distancing.
“We’re doing that because the bandstand is so tight, with all this social distancing, we want to be able to have the band spread out a little bit,” said Krause.
And the beat will go on ... even if the sound is a little bit off.
“Our spectators will be seeing us run through things for the first time, so there may be stopping and starting,” Krause said. “But at least we’ve got the machine rolling again.”
For that reason, Krause said, the band will focus on long-held standards.
Concerts/rehearsals are set to be held at the ice rink every Wednesday through the summer season: July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29 and at Day in the Park, before the fireworks, on Aug. 22.
Concerts begin at 7:30 p.m.
“I’m leaving it up to our spectators to be responsible for themselves. They are responsible adults. That’s why we’re doing it at the ice rink,” said Krause. “There will be plenty of room for people to spread out.
“If our band members don’t feel comfortable with coming and being in a crowd, that’s fine, I understand that,” Krause added. “But we want to make the band available for those who feel comfortable doing it and want to do it again.”
Last year, the band had about 80 members, from high school-aged to elderly.
But this year, “We may end up with three flutes and a drum, I don’t know,” Krause said with a good-natured laugh, noting anybody who wants to join simply has to show up ahead of time with their instrument.
If rehearsal space at Bryan City Schools’ facility becomes available for use, the band will return to its usual schedule of rehearsals on Tuesday and concerts on Wednesday.
Anyone with questions or concerns should email Krause at firstname.lastname@example.org.