Chicago Staff Band Ensemble Supports the
Celebration of the Nigerian Centenary Congress
In the face of an ongoing world pandemic, it would seem impossible that a contingent of twelve Chicago Staff Band members could travel to Nigeria for that territory’s Centenary Congress in August of 2021. Prevailing travel and health restrictions, which in this case required a strict masking mandate, Covid tests, and a seven-day quarantine on arrival, seemed prohibitive. Only 3% of Nigeria has received any vaccinations, yet encouragingly the country has the lowest rate of Covid in Africa. Security questions arose, especially as we initially considered utilizing the entire Chicago Staff Band at the event’s originally scheduled date in September of 2020. Upon arrival, however, our smaller contingent was guided by a security detail assigned to escort us at all times. This proved especially useful in getting through the traffic of a city of 22 million and throughout the long days at the Congress arena. Also pressing were the escalating costs for travel, housing, and meals with the required extended quarantine stay during these days of financial restraint in our own country.