Merrill City Band cancels 2020 season
It is with great sadness that the city band announces it is canceling the 2020 concert season. The MCB Board of Directors feels it is in the best interest and safety of band members, roadies, vendors, and audience members. Even if audience members would attend, and even if they would socially distance themselves and wear masks, band members and partners cannot. If even one band member was COVID-19 positive, it could cause an outbreak.
Director Linda Becker notes, “There are as many as 75 of us in that gazebo at one time, elbow to elbow. We cannot practice social distancing or wear masks. An outbreak in the band could affect not only Merrill, but families and communities of our band members from out of town as well. We cannot take that risk.”
The band had planned a huge opening concert with an Olympic theme, complete with giant inflatables, concessions, face painting, games, prizes, and other activities for families and kids. This concert has been postponed, as has the Olympics, until 2021, with an opening date of June 23rd.
The Merrill City Band has been in existence since 1911 and there are current members that have played in the group for 50 years or more. This would have been Becker’s 41st year as director. She says, “It is hard to imagine a summer without MCB and I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with myself. For many of us, in addition to not being with the band on Wednesday nights, this is the first time in decades we’ve not been with the group on holidays.” She also noted that, “We especially missed playing for the annual Memorial Day celebration. We’ve had a long history of supporting our veterans and it is one of our favorite and most meaningful performances.”
The band is looking forward to 2021 and hopes COVID-19 will be under control by then or there will be an effective vaccine. For now, MCB wishes everyone a safe summer and encourages all to wash hands, wear masks, and keep a safe distance. See you in 2021!