To wrap up an unusual school year interrupted with physical distancing and remote music lessons, Andy Erickson, St. Anthony Village band director, decided to bring some of his colleagues together.
Erickson put out a call on the Minnesota Band Teachers Association Facebook page for teachers willing to perform a virtual concert.
He had 92 takers.
The impromptu ensemble of 92 band teachers performed "On a Hymnsong of Philip Bills" by David Holsinger.
Kimberly Lundak, band director at Goodhue High School, said she liked the idea because of what it could demonstrate to her students.
Lundak played baritone sax on the piece.
"When we found out we were doing distance learning, I wanted to share what the future could look like for my students," she said.
"Of course, if wasn't easy and it took about a month to edit, but this shows them it can be done," she added.
It also showed students across Minnesota another side of their teachers.
"I got to show them I don't just stand there and wave my arms around," she said.
Some weren't sure how well it would come together.
Levi Kimmet, band director at Lakeville Area Public Schools, who used to teach band at Friedell Middle School in Rochester, played bassoon in the piece.
"The piece has a lot of ebb and flow to it," Kimmet said. "I thought it would be difficult for all of us to stay together."
A recorded conductor track kept the group in time and the result surprised him, he said.
Even if the performers and teachers weren't in the same room, they said it was nice to see everyone come together on the project.
"The virtual band was a real good way to create a sense of community around these band directors," said Sarah Vinzant, band teacher at Kasson-Mantorville schools, who played flute in the performance.
Anthony Boldt, band director at Kasson-Mantorville High School said even virtually, he felt closer to his colleagues, noting he was "seated" next to Becca Combs-Cawley, Stewartville Middle School band teacher (tuba), whom he sits next to for Rochester Community Band performances.
The performance is dedicated to music students across Minnesota. Although recorded about a month ago, the piece is a reflective and moving performance people can appreciate right now, Kimmet said.
"Maybe it will bring some needed stillness to peoples' lives," he said.