SIDNEY — There is nothing like downtown Sidney on a Friday night in summer – people sitting in lawn chairs under the trees, grandkids playing nearby, and the sounds of band music coming from the Courthouse steps. Unfortunately, that music is silent for now.

Given pandemic-related uncertainties and the state of Ohio guidelines in regards to large public gatherings, the Board of the Sidney Civic Band Association has decided to cancel its downtown concerts in June.

“Our chief concern is the safety of the band and the audience,” said Ken Monnier, president of the Sidney Civic Band Board. “While audience members can place chairs further apart, it is more difficult to create enough social distancing for our musicians. Given that a wind player puts out more air than someone who is merely speaking and the player cannot play with a mask, there are added concerns as to how to keep musicians safe.”

As previously announced, the band does plan to play live music for the city of Sidney fireworks display on July 4. The musicians will be seated on the tennis courts at Sidney High School which will allow for more distancing between players. Music will begin at 9 p.m. with the fireworks scheduled at 10.

Sidney Civic Band leaders are grateful for the community’s past support and are committed to assuring a fun and healthy environment for both the musicians and the concert-goers. It should be noted that several bands in neighboring communities have already canceled their entire summer seasons.

“We are watching the reopening efforts and continue to be optimistic that we will be able to come together later in the summer or in the fall,” said Monnier. “We love making music together and we hope to join you again soon.”

For further updates about the Sidney Civic Band, follow its Facebook page.