With coronavirus restrictions easing across the state, the College Community Band is once again able to hold full ensemble rehearsals and performances.
Previously, the band was limited to only student members as a safety precaution. Band director Mark Felder said this kept students from gaining the experience of playing alongside professional musicians.
The first rehearsal back with the full ensemble took place on March 7.
“There was a lot of excitement,” said Felder. “Without over exaggerating, the first night back was magical.”
The band is preparing for their first concert in 26 months. It is set to take place on May 2 at 7:30 p.m. in the La-Z-Boy Center’s Meyer Theater.
For student band member Joshua Perrine, it will be his first concert.
Perrine said it was overwhelming to be able to practice with the full ensemble because he now has the opportunity to learn from the community members in the band.
That includes community members like Daniel Duvenzack, who is the longest-running member of the band, with 45 years as a member.
Duvenzack said that other band members could learn from playing alongside him.
“It’s fantastic to be back,” Duvenzack said. “We should never have been shut down.”
Even after coming back from the shutdown, there are still concerns that the band will be forced to press pause once again.
“The fact that there’s a new variant isn’t lost on me,” Felder said. “The concern of another shutdown is always at the back of my mind.”
For now, the band is excited to be back for their first concert in May.