SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS)- When Catherine Porter first moved to Syracuse this past summer, in a pandemic, she felt lonely.
As she was scrolling through Facebook one day, that’s when she came across the Unity Street Band. A brass band who’s mission is to “put unity back into the community through the joy of music.”
So when she reached out to the group of about ten musicians, they told her just to come on down for a rehearsal, she was instantly hooked.
“I messaged them on Facebook, asking for more information about the band and that I would like to join,” Porter said. “I think they messaged me back within about five minutes and they immediately said, ‘come on down to rehearsal, you’re part of the band!'”
She has since returned her saxophone since she borrowed it, and couldn’t make the performance on Friday night.
But about seven members showed up to Syracuse’s Inner Harbor, ready to play music socially-distant and with masks on when they’re not playing.
Founder Donna Vallese said the miss their performances from the summer, and hope to bring people together again soon.
“We bring activist bands to Syracuse just to be able to play in the streets and celebrate music, celebrate humanity,” Vallese said. “Really promote some of the social justice issues that are happening and going on.”
One of those social justice performances was this past June where they performed in Perseverance Park, with signs that read, ‘Unity is imperative for systematic change,’ ‘…with liberty and justice for all! Not some,’ and ‘Black Lives Matter’ just to name a few.
Vallese said it’s their mission to not only spread joy to the Syracuse community, but to also unite people as well.
“Like music is, I think the only thing in this world that actually unites people,” Vallese said. People whether you’re republican or democrat, you still like a lot of the same music.”
The band doesn’t know when their next performance will be due to weather, but they said they will continue to get together virtually to prepare for warmer days.