Back on the beat

Wyatt Deckman plays the bass drum Wednesday during a physically distanced practice for Norwich University’s Regimental Band in White Chapel’s basement. The band has practiced steadily since its student musicians began arriving during last month’s phased-in arrivals.

During his Aug. 20 town hall video, Norwich President Mark C. Anarumo said hearing the band playing and watching it march around the Upper Parade Ground gave campus a joyful jolt of early energy.

“It was wonderful to hear,” he said.

The Regimental Band achieved a milestone March 12, shortly before Norwich’s campus shut down to flatten the coronavirus infection curve. The band played a bicentennial concert in the 599-seat underground Zankel Hall in New York City’s Carnegie Hall, becoming the venue’s last act before Broadway’s concert halls went dark to protect against the virus. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo closed down Broadway Aug. 13; its theaters remain closed.

The Regimental Band’s two-hour March 12 concert, in front of an audience of about 150 people, included light classical selections, traditional marches (including Franz von Suppé’s “Light Cavalry Overture”), jazz and patriotic medleys. The concert also debuted two new compositions written especially for it by Michael Sweeney and Carly Golladay.

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