BROCKVILLE -- Usually this time of year, the Brockville Pipes and Drums would be playing every weekend for graduations and festivals.

But that has changed with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, with no events on the horizon. So the group decided to visit certain sites in the city to cheer up frontline workers and residents.

On Saturday, they hit up Bridlewood Manor in the north end and both locations of the Brockville General Hospital.

“It’s something different. Something they can appreciate, especially if they have a little Scottish background in them,” pipe major Stewart Nimmo says with a smile.

“About a week ago we played at a couple of other places, and just on Thursday we played for a happy birthday at St. Lawrnece Lodge. We’ve got to get some piping in this year because everything else is cancelled.”

At Bridlewood Manor, residents packed the front porch and opened their windows to hear the music.

Doug Marshall, whose father lives in the home, says the residents really enjoy music. The residence usually does weekly singings and bring guitar players in.

“It means a great deal to the residents and staff,” Marshall said. “It means a lot to them to get out and hear the entertainment and get some joy out of it.

“I think Brockville has shown their community spirit.”

At the main site of the Brockville General Hospital, frontline workers came out to listen to the group.

President and CEO Nick Vlacholias says the support over the last few weeks has been exceptional.

“We’re seeing celebrations of health care workers with posters of encouragement and social media shoutouts,” he said.  “It certainly brings joy and hope during these difficult times.

“Some patients, like at the Garden Street site, haven’t had visitors for weeks. So seeing our community support them in an incredibly powerful and kind gesture, thank you very much.”

Nimmo said he’s just happy to have the group playing and to see the smiles on people’s faces.

“We’re having fun. Unfortunately we can’t do what we normally do this time of year, so we’re just filling in as best we can and having a little fun while doing it.”