NORWICH - The Norwich City Band has announced that it has returned city funds and denied grant money as this year’s concert series is cancelled.
According to Norwich City Band President Chris Robb announced Thursday afternoon that the band wouldn’t be performing this year due to the coronavirus.
Robb said normally each year the band would perform at East Park in Norwich, with approximately 50 musicians from around Chenango County participating in the event.
He said the concerts are free to attend, and are a tradition with a rich history in the City of Norwich.
“The Norwich City Band has been providing music in the city around for at least 100 years, but unfortunately this year we’re not going to be able to do it due to the coronavirus,” said Robb. “We’re canceling this year’s concert series for the safety of the band and the public.”
Robb said the majority of the concert attendees are seniors, and as a way of protecting them and the band members, canceling this year’s concerts just makes sense.
He said normally the band plays in the summer each Friday between 7 and 8 p.m. He added that hopefully next year the band will be able to return.
“The city’s finance director has been notified, and the other funding we get through grants via RC Smith and Greater Norwich Foundation has also been addressed,” Robb said. “There have been conversations about this throughout the past month, and a decision was made about a week ago after speaking with the county auditor.”
He said between social distancing guidelines for band members and attendees, hosting a concert series wasn’t practical for this year.
“If the COVID-19 situation has improved by next year, we’ll go ahead and proceed on as we had originally planned for this year,” he added. “The band’s board of directors will end up making that decision when the time comes.”
“The council has always provided funding towards the band playing for the community, and we’re hoping they see that it’s worth providing the entertainment for people for free.”
Those who are interested in learning more about the Norwich City Band may visit its facebook page.