Illinois band fills outside of Krannert with sound of music

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URBANA, Ill. (WCIA) — Music was in the air on the U of I’s campus. Illinois band members performed a free outdoor concert at the Krannert Center.

“It’s just a huge difference to be performing for people now, instead of a camera,” says Katie Pierce with the Illinois Wind Symphony.

It’s been over a year since “the best band” in the land got the chance to perform live in front of an audience.

“We all shut down in March, so we lost that group atmosphere of playing together,” says Pierce.

“In many ways, it’s like riding a bike, but a bike that you haven’t touched in over a year,” says Graduate Conductor Isaac Brinberg. “So, it’s very exciting and a lot of adrenaline. It almost feels like you’re doing it for the first time again.”

It’s a feeling and sight they haven’t felt in a while.

“I really missed the big, full concert atmosphere, because just having that big sound, it’s so powerful,” says Pierce.

“We know it’s been a difficult time and challenging times for everyone, but we hope this concert is a chance for people to enjoy being together. Enjoy the sunshine, enjoy the end of the semester students,” says Brinberg.

And for Pierce, it means a family legacy.

“My dad was part of bands, my granddad and my grandma were part of bands, and I’m a third generation. So it is it’s very personal.”

Even with the challenges, they had a good turn-out.

“I think people want to hear music as much as we want to give it,” says Director of Bands Steve Peterson.

This performance was just the start of hopefully getting back to some normalcy.

“We’re looking, praying, hoping, knocking on wood for a much more normal fall when we can get back to our normal size groups, including the Marching Illini, and just kind of get back to the swing of things,” says Peterson.

Students typically play in large ensembles, but they were broken down into groups of 20 or less because of COVID.

The band was out on the Krannert terrace until 4.

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