The summer of 2020 is getting quieter by the day with the cancellations of events, big and small.  The Field of Flight Air Show and National Cereal Festival have been cancelled.  We’ll miss those big events.   But a lot of the smaller events are also going to be missed, not only by audiences, but by local performers.   Community bands, choirs, and community theaters give many of us a creative outlet, and many have either cancelled their seasons or are considering it.  Add the Marshall Rotary Band to the list of groups who have cancelled their season.

A release sent on May 19th stated that “the band’s board of directors has concluded that the band musicians cannot risk meeting this summer, even if it becomes allowable. It is presumed that concerts, spectator games, and other group activities will be the last events to be back on the schedule due a continuation of social distancing. That is likely to be the new normal until public confidence returns. Therefore, the 2020 Marshall Rotary Band summer season of concerts has been cancelled.”

Marshall Rotary Band1-TSM Photo

The band normally performs six outside concerts during the months of June and July. The concerts are performed in Marshall free-of-charge compliments of the Marshall Rotary Club. Five of the concerts are usually performed at the band shell on Homer Rd. The best-attended concert is the annual patriotic concert on July 4 at Brooks Fountain. Each concert features talented conductors, announcers, soloists, and musical groups as well as typical concert band arrangements. This would have been the 42nd year of these Rotary-sponsored concerts and the only time since 1979 that the entire program has been cancelled.

We’re hearing and reading more and more stories about how singing and playing a wind instrument can potentially spread germs. Theater, band and choir performers project germs through infectious droplets when they sing, speak or play.  Many of these performers are situated very closely together, and projecting toward fellow performers and the audience.

President of the band, Dennis Smith, said “This virus is most dangerous for our older musicians, and we have a substantial number of those. We fully intend to be back as usual for the 2021 summer season of concerts.”

Battle Creek's Cereal City Concert Band has already cancelled their spring concert and their Memorial Day performance was scratched along with the event at Fort Custer National Cemetary.   Their August concert at Kellogg Manor on Gull Lake is also cancelled, and they hop to still do a concert in late August at the Leila Arboretum.

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