Chatham Concert Band returning to Tecumseh Park

Chatham Concert Band performs in Tecumseh Park. (BlackburnNews.com file photo by Trevor Thompson)

A local concert band is gearing up to get back on stage after the pandemic stopped the music for the first time in 93 years.

On August 4, the Chatham Concert Band will resume its traditional Summer Concert Series at Tecumseh Park.

According to Band Leader Vaughn Pugh, it’s a huge relief to be able to play again.

He said the band’s members are happy to get back to not only playing music, but also getting to enjoy the social interaction that the concert series brings.

“The members are very excited to be doing this,” he said. “It’s been a long haul. There was a couple of pop-up concerts last summer when the [COVID] numbers were low. Other than that, we have not been able to practice up until now.”

The Chatham Concert Band was formed in 1927 and has been playing consecutively for over 90 seasons.

According to Pugh, the band has played through the Great Depression and the Second World War. The summer of 2020 was the only time the band could not play a regular summer series because of pandemic restrictions.

However, Pugh said local medical officials have given the band the all-clear to start back up again. He is asking anyone who attends to follow current COVID-19 public health guidelines.

Pugh said he believes that it’s not only the band members that are excited to get back to Tecumseh Park, but Chatham-Kent residents as well.

“We have been getting feedback, various members saying lots of people have been asking about the band and when it’s going to start back up. On the Facebook page, we’ve been hearing it. I think the public is excited to have something like this to do as well,” he said. “We’re asking everyone just to come on out, bring your lawn chairs, tell your neighbours about us, bring your grandkids, or your kids.”

The free weekly concerts kick off on Wednesday, August 4 at 7:30 p.m. and run every Wednesday until September 1.

Pugh said the shows are an hour long and feature a variety of musical stylings.

Regular updates on the concerts and the band can be found on the Chatham Concert Band Facebook page.