Govenaires Drum & Bugle Corps

The Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps of St. Peter performs at an assisted living facility during the 2019 holiday season. In 2020, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, members recorded special performance videos, which the corps put on a DVD and shipped out to a number of care facilities. (Photo courtesy of the Govenaires)

For many years, the Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps has brought live Christmas caroling (complete with singers and musicians) to area long-term care facilities in the St. Peter & Mankato areas every December.

With the pandemic, like many other businesses and organizations, the group has made a change to the event, annually cherished by both the facility residents and the drum corps members. In early November, a small group of the Govenaires gathered to record a series of videos, playing the most beloved Christmas carols with the intent of sending these videos to the facilities electronically or in a DVD format, knowing they wouldn’t be able to carry in person as they have done in the past.

“What a great way for one of our performing ensembles to participate in spreading some holiday cheer when it is needed the most”, said Jen Epper, president of the Govenaires Performing Arts Association. “We had many discussions on how to keep our performers safe for recording the videos and even purchased new protective equipment for the instruments. In a year when these performing artists were not able to perform, this was the least we could do for them — to figure out a way to let them safely perform together on a much smaller scale than normal.”

The holiday music videos will be shared to the long-term facilities that they have visited in the past, but a video version of this performance will make it easy for them to share with facilities and organizations all around the world.

Epper noted, “Our performers will miss the smiles from all the faces at the long-term facilities this December, but knowing this caroling event will hopefully make a come back in 2021 keeps their hearts aglow for their chance to play again.”

You can find the Govenaires Christmas Music videos on their YouTube channel: Govenaires Drum and Bugle Corps.

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