Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the band has spent the last 13 months livestreaming performances and posting videos to Facebook. They even performed virtually at the presidential inauguration in January.
While they were thankful to still be able to perform during the pandemic, the band members say it is just not the same playing with out a live audience.
“There’s a kind of magic that goes along with that, that cannot be found virtually searching the web," said Commander Adam Williamson, director of the USCG Band.
Their first concert back will be Friday, April 16 at Groton Bible Chapel. They will host a free night of chamber music. People are asked to reserve tickets online due to limited capacity. COVID-19 safety protocols, including masking and distancing, will be required.
“We are going to keep the crowd small," said Williamson. "This will give us a glimpse into the new normal and that’s exciting.”
Cedric Mayfield, chief musician, will be a soloist at the reopening concert.
"Fantastic. I can't wait," said Mayfield, who has not performed in a live concert since early 2020.
“It is a very surreal experience for musicians who have done it since they were children, performing for people, and all of the sudden you don’t," said Mayfield. "We hope they enjoy it as much as we do because I guarantee you we will be enjoying every note and every moment.”
This first concert will kick off a series of live performances for the band this summer. They have about 40 concerts and ceremonies on their schedule across Connecticut and the greater region.