Arapahoe County Sheriff’s employees provide hope through music during pandemic

Front Range Courage

PARKER, Colo. (KDVR) — It happens like clockwork every night: Rob Bratsch opens the front door to his home in Parker. He walks to the street, looks to the sky and begins to play his bagpipe.

“We just want to instill a sense of spirit and a sense that humanity is still alive and well,” Bratsch said.

To most it may sound like a bagpipe playing alone, but Bratsch is actually one of thousands who are performing solo concerts in their neighborhoods during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bratsch is part of a national movement called “Sunset Solidarity,” a group of bagpipers and drummers who are playing on a regular basis at sunset.

Not only is Bratsch a bagpiper, he’s also an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputy, and he isn’t the only employee in his office who is a part of the Sunset Solidarity movement.

Bratsch’s colleague, Josh Kraus, also plays nightly in his neighborhood. Kraus works in the administrative department of the sheriff’s office.

“Some are doing it nightly. Some are doing it every weekend,” Kraus explained, discussing the Sunset Solidarity movement.

Kraus clearly remembers the first night he decided to play in his street during the pandemic.

“I thought, ‘I’m going to take a stand and do this. This is a weird time. This is a time to do something if you can,'” Kraus said.

Both men are proof that serving the community during COVID-19 can happen both on the streets and on sidewalks.

They are providing hope and inspiration through music, while uniting a community that just wants to be together again.

“We all understand we’re in the same boat. Some of us have different opinions about what it is, but it doesn’t matter. We’re all together and the pipes themselves are just a way to spread that unity to say, ‘No matter what happens, we hear you. You hear us. We’re together,” Kraus said.

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