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Mattoon Community Concert Band to resume rehearsing, performing

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Mattoon Community Concert Band

In this file photo, the Mattoon Community Concert Band, led by Jessica Closson, is shown performing a Veterans Day concert in the Lone Elm Room at the train depot.

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MATTOON — The Mattoon Community Concert Band is set to resume holding rehearsals and performances this year after going on hiatus for all of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Finally, the Mattoon Community Concert Band shall live on," said Jessica Closson, director of the group.

Closson said the band's first rehearsal following a "long break due to COVID-19" is scheduled for 7 to 8:30 p.m. Monday at the city's Burgess-Osborne Auditorium, 1701 Wabash Ave.

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Other rehearsals will follow at 7 p.m. every Monday at the auditorium as the band prepares to hold a summer concert series once again. Closson said she will announce the concert dates soon after she finishes shaping up the performance schedule.

"All ages and levels of musical ability are welcome to join. Members should bring their instrument and a music stand, if they have one," Closson said. The band has drawn participating musicians ranging in age from school students to senior citizens from Mattoon and the surrounding area.

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Closson, a music teacher with the Mattoon school district, founded the community concert band in fall 2018 and it subsequently held Veterans Day and Christmas shows that year. The band held its inaugural summer concert series in 2019 and also added shows at the Artworks festival downtown and at the Mattoon in Motion community update meeting.

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The band's rehearsals and concerts were on hold throughout 2020 because of the pandemic, but several participants did reunite to hold a parade to celebrate fellow band member Dale Von Behrens' 99th birthday that year.

More information is available by contacting Closson at 217-238-8863 or jessicaclosson@mcusd2.com, or by visiting the Mattoon Community Concert Band page on Facebook.

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Rob Stroud is a reporter for the JG-TC, covering the city of Mattoon, Lake Land College, Cumberland County and areas including Oakland, Casey and Martinsville.

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