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The Band Plays On

Without a doubt, 2020 has brought on more delays, reschedules, and cancellations than most of us would like to acknowledge. These inconveniences have become the new normal as schools reopen and the world braces itself for what has yet to come. Organizations, clubs, and universities across the country have modified their normal plans of operation to account for the new social distancing guidelines.

One group here at Mines, however, has worked against the odds to be able to operate in person and as normally as the new restrictions will allow. The Mines Concert and Marching Band, a staple in the Oredigger and Golden community for over fifty years, continues to perform amidst the chaotic backdrop 2020 has provided. Renowned for their unusual uniform of flannel and hard hats, the band continues to practice and work on new ways of bringing the joy of music to the Mines community.

This year, band director Robert Klimek is embracing the true Oredigger problem-solving spirit and adapting the band to work in this challenging environment. The concert band is currently practicing outdoors in a grid set up, allowing for the social distancing rules to be followed. The group began working on their usual stand tunes and concert pieces back in late August. These full band practices truly are remarkable given that other band programs across the state have been forced to divide into smaller ensembles and/or stop performing altogether.

While the band may not be able to perform their iconic splitting of the atom routine to the tune of Zarathustra on the football field this year, the group has been busy coming up with new performance alternatives. The concert band is currently working on an array of holiday tunes and, with them, tentative plans to record and schedule virtual performances. The marching band is prepping stand tunes for the spring sports season, should the occasion for music arise. The rest of the year may bring on a whole new set of challenges, but one thing is for certain: the Mines band will keep on playing through it all.

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