Keeping Communities Connected Through Music

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By Sgt. Taryn K. Benton, 188th Army Band

The 188th Army Band provided outstanding musical support to their fellow Soldiers and to the communities of North Dakota in 2020 despite the limitations caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The unit adapted to N.D. Smart Restart guidelines to resume their training and operations. Continuing their rich tradition of service, the 188th AB used music to bring people together during a time of isolation and uncertainty.

“Music resonates with people in ways that nothing else can, Even when our worlds are shattered, music can speak straight to the soul and bring hope and healing and peace.” - Sgt. David Hathaway, 188th Ab.

Facemasks and social distancing rules were followed on drill weekends. The unit installed several hand sanitizing stations and frequently disinfected commonly touched surfaces. In order to maintain social distance and minimize the potential spread of the virus, the 188th AB rehearsed on the drill floor instead of the smaller concert band room.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Landman presents Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Schwind a shadow box displaying her awards and other items from her career during her retirement ceremony at weekend training of the 188th Army Band on July 17, 2020 at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center. Schwind served with the North Dakota Army National Guard for over 20 years. (National Guard photo by Sgt. Taryn Benton, 188th Army Band)
Chief Warrant Officer 2 James Landman presents Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Schwind a shadow box displaying her awards and other items from her career during her retirement ceremony at weekend training of the 188th Army Band on July 17, 2020 at the Fargo Armed Forces Reserve Center. Schwind served with the North Dakota Army National Guard for over 20 years. (National Guard photo by Sgt. Taryn Benton, 188th Army Band)

 

Utilizing safe practices allowed the 188th AB to bring hope and live music back to North Dakota. The band held socially distanced, outdoor concerts and the public was encouraged to use CDC recommended safe practices, such as bringing their own chairs and distancing themselves from each other. Livestreaming was also offered at these events, letting people who couldn’t attend for any reason, experience the band’s performances. This option gave the unit the ability to connect to their community, even in a time of doubt and social distancing. Moving forward, the 188 AB will look to continue to build on these digitally-centric avenues through Social Media and beyond.

Follow us on Facebook: @188AB - Instagram: @188thab

 

Band 2

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