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Springfield's 'SciTech Band' to play at celebration for newly sworn in Gov. Maura Healey

Members of the SciTech Band, out of Springfield, Massachusetts, High School of Science and Technology, boarded buses bound for Boston Thursday to perform at Gov. Maura Healey's evening inaugural event at the TD Garden.

School officials said they heard about the invite during the holiday break and long time SciTech Band director Gary Bernice said the students only heard about the performance Monday.

It is a big deal for this group of students to showcase Springfield's talent to the rest of the state, Bernice said. It's the SciTech Band's first performance out of the immediate region since before the pandemic.

"We played at Governor Baker's inauguration in 2015," Bernice said, "and this is a very different year and a very different group of students."

Springfield High School of Science and Technology SciTech Band.

While used to being in the spotlight, the SciTech Band, founded in 2007, needed some quick and intense rehearsing before Thursday. Earlier this week, musicians took over the school library for hours of rehearsals.

The band is made up of 300 musicians on wind instruments, keyboards and drums. Of those, 175 of them will be performing at the TD Garden event, dubbed by the Healey Administration "Moving the Ball Forward.”

Thousands of people bought tickets to join in the celebration of the state's first female elected governor and lieutenant governor, and maybe also to see the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Brandi Carlile, who is the headline act.

Jill Kaufman has been a reporter and host at NEPM since 2005. Before that she spent 10 years at WBUR in Boston, producing "The Connection" with Christopher Lydon and on "Morning Edition" reporting and hosting. She's also hosted NHPR's daily talk show "The Exhange" and was an editor at PRX's "The World."