July 31, 2021 6:00 a.m.
A local orchestra is preparing to return to the stage after the pandemic shut down music for the first time in 93 years.
On August 4, the Chatham Concert Band will resume their traditional summer concert series at Tecumseh Park.
According to group leader Vaughn Pugh, it’s a huge relief to be able to replay.
He said the band members were happy to be able to not only play music, but also enjoy the social interaction that the concert series brings.
âThe members are very excited to do this,â he said. âIt’s been a long journey. There were a few pop-up concerts last summer when the [COVID] the numbers were low. Other than that, we haven’t been able to train so far.
The Chatham Concert Band was formed in 1927 and has performed consecutively for over 90 seasons.
According to Pugh, the band performed during the Great Depression and World War II. The summer of 2020 was the only time the group couldn’t play a regular summer series due to pandemic restrictions.
However, Pugh said local medical authorities gave the group the green light to start over. He calls on all who attend to follow current COVID-19 public health guidelines.
Pugh said he believes it is not only the members of the group who are excited to return to Tecumseh Park, but also the residents of Chatham-Kent.
âWe’ve received feedback, various members say a lot of people have asked about the band and when it’s going to start again. On the Facebook page, we heard it. I think the public is thrilled to have something like that to do as well, âhe said. “We ask everyone to come out, bring your lawn chairs, tell your neighbors about us, bring your grandchildren or your children.”
The free weekly concerts start Wednesday August 4 at 7:30 p.m. and run every Wednesday until September 1.
Pugh said the shows were an hour long and featured a variety of musical styles.
Regular concert and band updates are available on the Chatham Concert Band Facebook page.