Brass quartet serenades Rochester neighborhood

Group was eager to play music after being thwarted for months by pandemic

Posted: Dec 20, 2020 11:49 PM

ROCHESTER, MN-- I stepped out my front door Sunday evening and was immediately confronted by Christmas music I was not only able to hear but also feel. The Low Priorities Brass Quartet includes a booming tuba that fairly rumbles through the heart of a listener. The group had positioned itself in front of a home in my neighborhood featured on a holiday tour of lights. There, they found a constant audience coming by on a comparatively mild Minnesota, December night to hear their music. John Sievers had been chomping at the bit to play music for a live audience.

"It's hard to find opportunities to make music right now with COVID," the musician told me between numbers. "And we just wanted to find a way to have fun with Christmas music and this lights tour was a perfect thing to do for it."

As cars drove by, stopped and passengers put the windows down, there were moments of applause and joyful voices. I spoke with neighbors I hadn't seen since last winter when we are shoveling snow together. It was a moment of neighborhood bonding. The musicians too were filled with holiday joy.

"It's just super enjoyable to make music again," said Anthony Boldt as he took a break from blowing on his booming tuba. "It's been a long time. I'm a band director in Kasson-Mantorville and so it was fun to get together with a group of tubas and trombones and make a little bit of music tonight."

The musicians and my neighbors were hopeful Rochester Mayor Kim Norton would be paying a visit before the band wrapped up their holiday concert.

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