The Latest News from Your Minnesota State Band

Summer 2017

The Minnesota State Band is at the midpoint of our summer schedule. We thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you all the good things that are happening and let you know how you can help.

Minnesota State Band Awarded Two Grants

This spring, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council awarded the Minnesota State Band a $5,000 grant. This funding comes from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. For one of our planned projects, the Minnesota State Band will perform at the State Capitol Grand Opening on August 11 at noon as part of a three-day celebration. https://mn.gov/admin/capitol-grand-opening/

To mark this occasion, the band has used a portion of this grant to commission a special concert piece written by Minnesota composer Carl Schroeder entitled “Capitol Fanfare.” This piece will receive its World Premiere at the Capital Grand Opening Concert.

The Minnesota State Band is the only concert band to be asked to perform at the Grand Opening. One hundred and twelve years ago, the Minnesota State Band had the honor of playing the Star Spangled Banner during the very first opening of the "People's House" in 1905. Take a look at the Minnesota Historical Society article entitled “Transferring the War Flags from the Old to the New Capitol” recalling the events of Flag Day, June 14, 1905.

http://collections.mnhs.org/battleflags/index.php/10000955

The Minnesota State Band is not only a part of state history; we remain an active and vibrant part of Minnesota’s future.

Our second grant comes from the Legacy funds under the control of the Minnesota Legislature. Band President Craig Allen testified on behalf of the band before the Legacy committees in the Minnesota House and Senate. Here is what he told our representatives.

“Our goal of bringing high quality music to smaller, out-state communities deserves your support. In fact, I would argue that our musical goal is unique among arts organizations. Most of Minnesota’s “established” arts organizations never perform anywhere but the large concert halls in the Twin Cities. In contrast, the Minnesota State Band brings its music to the people, performing in the communities where they live.

Most arts organizations charge a substantial fee to attend one of their performances. Except when the Minnesota State Band is asked to help raise money for a worthy cause, like when we were asked to help the Roosevelt High School Band in St. Paul raise money to purchase musical instruments, the Minnesota State Band NEVER charges admission to any of its concerts. Every concert we perform is free and open to the public.

The $20,000 the band received from the Minnesota Legislature two years ago allowed the Minnesota State Band to live out its core mission. Look at what we achieved during the last two years. We traveled to Alexandria and performed a joint concert with the Alexandria High School Band. On another trip, we joined the Moose Lake Community Band in a concert on the Iron Range. We entertained over 500 young people at Cherry School in Iron, Minnesota. And we performed twice at the 1910 Opera House in Litchfield, helping to bring back the glory days of that beautiful and newly restored concert hall. We love performing with local community and school bands, sharing our love of music with everyone we meet.

The only thing that prevents us from traveling to more small towns and playing with more community and school bands is money. After all it takes quite a lot to transport a 50 - member concert band from town to town. But that is exactly what we would like to do. People who live in small towns deserve the chance to hear quality music just as much as the people in large cities.”

Well that testimony worked and our bill was supported by a bipartisan group of legislators. This means that over the next two years the Minnesota State Band will be traveling across Minnesota performing concerts.

Now, this is where you can help. We would like you to send us your suggestions as to where in the state we should perform. It can be anywhere, small town or big city. Do you know of a community band or school program that would appreciate a visit? Do you know of anyone involved in their town who we could contact to arrange a visit? Remember there is no cost to the local community. The funding is coved by our grant. All we need is a good host that would welcome a visit from the Minnesota State Band. Please send your ideas to conductor@minnesotastateband.org.

Speaking of Travel, how About Germany?

The last time the Minnesota State Band performed outside of the United Sates was in 2003, when we visited London, England. Our director then was Joe Komro. Joe seemed to know everybody and had musical contacts all over Europe. Well just last week, a representative from the German Concert Band Musikverein Ellzee invited the Minnesota State Band to return to Germany to perform during their 100th Anniversary Festival, June 19-23 in 2019. http://www.mv-ellzee.de/index.php (Be sure to use the translate button unless you speak German).

The Minnesota State Band has a long history of association with this German Band. The Minnesota State Band visited them in Germany in 1986, 1992 and 1998. The Musikverein Ellzee returned the favor in 1994, when they came to Minnesota to play concerts in St. Paul and New Ulm.

Planning an international trip is a little more complicated and expensive than planning a visit to Litchfield or Alexandria. In addition, neither of our two grants can be used for travel outside the United States. Therefore we are hoping that you will continue to support the band with your generous contributions to help us fund such an ambitious tour and continue to proudly represent the State of Minnesota.

Summer Concerts at Como Park!

It’s that time of year again for the Minnesota State Band’s Como Concert Series at the beautiful Como Park Lakeside Pavilion in Saint Paul. This year’s concerts are Wednesdays, August 2, August 9 and August 16 starting at 7 PM. Did you know that the Minnesota State Band has performed three consecutive weekly concerts at Como Park every summer for the last 34 years? Here is some of the music you will hear this summer!

Our first Como Concert will include Orchestral Highlights with music by Delibe, Haydn and Verdi. It will also feature the wind band classic, English Folk Song Suite by Vaughn Williams.

Our second Como Concert is a Potpourri of Music from Around the World featuring works from Russia, England, Czechoslovakia and Cambodia. And always a crowd pleaser, Sinatra in Concert.

Our final Como concert is A Salute to Minnesota and America including Minnesota Portraits and Capitol Fanfare by Minnesota composer, Carl Schroeder. We will also play Copland's Variations on a Shaker Melody and Gould's American Salute.

A Note From Minnesota State Band Conductor Keith Liuzzi

What an honor to work with this fine group of musicians! From our fall trips to the Litchfield Opera House in September and our Cook tour including Moose Lake, Cherry School and Northwoods High School in October to our “Orchestral” program at the end of March to our Spring Fling in Crystal, we’re making lots of wonderful music together. With limited rehearsal time, it’s amazing how much music we manage to prepare for performance. Some highlights for me include programming a composition by a former student of mine from Southwest High School. We played Carl Schroeder’s Minnesota Portraits in the fall on tour and at our first summer concert at the Lake Harriet Band Shell. We also premiered a new work for concert band. Jane Lanctot took a traditional Cambodian song (800-1000 years old) based on a pentatonic scale and skillfully arranged it for the modern concert band. Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed rehearsing and performing a variety of orchestral works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Rimsky-Korsakov and Verdi.

Upon request, we have been working to establish a jazz ensemble from the members of the band. We’re still looking for a regular pianist, but we’re off the ground and hoping to start performing this fall.

After the full band performs at Rondo Days in July, we have a busy schedule in August with our 3 Como Pavilion concerts (first 3 Wednesdays) and the rededication concert at the Capitol on August 11 at Noon. Working with the members of the band has been a joy, and I have a great appreciation for our devoted Associate Members. Sharing the experience of live music with the musicians and our audiences brings meaning, fulfillment and a deeper sense of community to our lives. Thank you.

Are You Ready For Two New Teddy Bears!

We know you love them. So soft and so cute!! Well two new bears have joined us and we think they are some of the best quality we have ever had. One is cream-colored and one is a beautiful lavender color and they are guaranteed to warm your heart. The bears are not for sale, but they are a thank-you gift for a contribution of $25 or more. Our Membership year is June 1 through May 31. Please help us by renewing your Associate Membership today!

Thank you for your past support

We hope to see you all at our next concert.


Spring Concert 2017

The Minnesota State Band will be presenting its first concert of 2017 on Friday, March 31st, 7:30 PM, at St. Paul's United Church of Christ, 900 Summit Ave, St. Paul, 55105. The concert will feature Classical works transcribed for wind band and will include the debut of a newly arranged piece by Jay Fishman, Director of the Minnesota Sinfonia. The concert is free and the public is welcomed.

Several years ago, Mr. Fishman arranged a medley of Jewish wedding music for string quartet, to be played at his brother's wedding. Mr. Fishman later arranged this piece for the Sinfonia, and has now granted permission for the work to be arranged for concert band. The Minnesota State Band commissioned Michael Serber, local composer and arranger, to complete this new arrangement of Mazel Tov, which will be performed for the first time at the concert.

The second major work on the program will be a transcription of the fourth movement of Gustav Mahler's 4th Symphony for wind band and mezzo soprano. The piece was recently arranged for the Peninsula Symphonic Winds by Jennifer Hillier, who has graciously provided the score and parts. In this movement, the singer tells of a child's view of heaven and is one of Mahler's loveliest works. Mezzo-soprano Erin Wind will be the guest artist.

Rounding out the program will be the Festive Overture by Dmitri Shostakovich, Nabucco Overture by Giuseppe Verdi, Procession of the Nobles by Rimsky-Korsakov, selections from Josef Haydn's Military Symphony, and J.S. Bach's Prelude and Fugue in G Minor.

Ms. Erin Wind is native of Richmond, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Music in Music Education from Longwood University and a Master of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Northern Iowa. During her school years Ms. Wind performed many roles including Zulma in L'Italiana in Algeri with Summer Garden Opera in Farmville, Virginia, and the Third Spirit in Die Zauberflöte with the University of Northern Iowa Opera.

Since her graduation Ms. Wind has been active in the classical music community in Richmond where she currently resides. In 2014, she premiered the role of Ichabod Crane in the Baroque pastiche, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow for Capitol Opera Richmond. She also sang Mrs. Splinters in The Tenderland and was a chorus member in the Capitol Opera Richmond productions of Hansel and Gretel and Die Fledermaus. Most recently, Ms. Wind appeared with the Northern Neck Orchestra in their performance of Gustav Mahler's Songs of a Wayfarer. She is a member of the Richmond Symphony Chorus, alto section leader with Second Presbyterian Church in Richmond, Virginia, and is in demand as a soloist.

In addition to her classical music endeavors, she has taught music education courses through Southside Virginia Community College, composed and performed music for several short films, and is an active singer-songwriter and guitarist. As a songwriter, she was recently showcased in the premier installment of River City Flows, a Richmond-based live music and art series.

The concert will be repeated on April 1st, 4:00 PM, at the Opera House in Litchfield, Minnesota, as part of the Legacy Fund Grant the Minnesota State Band received to allow them to bring quality band music to the smaller communities in outstate Minnesota.

Mezzo-Soprano Erin Wind
Mezzo-Soprano Erin Wind

Fall/Winter 2016

the band by the bus

On Tour with the Minnesota State Band

During the 2016 Concert Season, the Minnesota State Band played concerts at Edinborough Park in Edina; a joint concert with the Alexandria High School Band in Alexandria; The Crystal Community Center in Crystal; a Memorial Day Concert at the Como Lakeside Pavilion, Como Park in St. Paul as well as three additional concerts in August; Brookview Park in Golden Valley; The Lake Harriet Band Shell in Minneapolis; two concerts at the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, MN; Town Green in Maple Grove; The Historic Litchfield Opera House in Litchfield, MN; a joint concert with the Moose Lake Community Band in Moose Lake, MN; a concert for the students at Cherry School in Iron, Minnesota; a concert at North Woods School in Cook, MN and a Veterans Day Concert at The Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis

The Band has traveled over 1300 miles in 2016!

Don't see your city represented? Contact the Minnesota State Band and we will do our best to arrange for a concert in your home town! www.minnesotastateband.org and on Facebook.

Minnesota Legacy Funds Support Three Concert Tours by the Minnesota State Band

In 2015, representatives of the Minnesota State Band appeared before several committees at the Minnesota Legislature seeking a grant from the Legacy Funds to help support several concert tours to communities throughout Minnesota. As you know, the Minnesota State Band has been declared by two governors as the “Official Band of the State of Minnesota.” However that title carries a responsibility: that we perform concerts in every part of Minnesota, not just the Twin Cities.

A second goal for this funding was to perform with school and community bands. We felt that young people need to know that music is a life-long joy, and performing with adults is a wonderful way to make that clear. Our concerts with the Farnsworth Aerospace Magnet in St. Paul and the Minneapolis Roosevelt High School bands are good examples of this, but it is outside the metropolitan area, in some of the state’s smaller communities, where we feel we can do the most good.

During the Special Secession in the summer of 2015, the Minnesota Legislature made a Legacy Grant to the band of $20,000. From these funds, the Minnesota State Band was able to cover the costs of transportation and lodging for over 40 band members on three concert tours throughout the year.

Our First Tour: Alexandria, Minnesota

On Saturday, April 30th, The Minnesota State Band performed a joint concert with the Alexandria High School Band. Our concert included Morning, Noon, and Night in Vienna and the El Capitan Waltzes by John Phillip Sousa. Our joint numbers with the Alexandria High School Band included Ave Maria and the National Emblem march. The concert concluded with First Suite for Military Band by Gustav Holst, The Promise of Living by Aaron Copland and The Hobbits by Johan de Meij from the Lord of the Rings Symphony.

It was grand to make a musical connection with band members from Alexandria High School. Playing with a group of very talented young people is always a pleasure.

band on stage at Alexandria
Alexandria High School Concert

Second Tour Stop: Litchfield, Minnesota

The Historic Litchfield Opera House was the site of our concert on September 24. Built in 1900, this restored treasure has hosted traveling theater troupes, stage plays, musicals, lectures, readings, revivals, local musical performances, and gatherings of all kinds. Although becoming Music Director less than a month earlier, Keith Liuzzi jumped in with both feet helping to organize the concert. This concert was also a fundraiser for the Opera House Association to help to restore the interior of the Opera House to its full 1900 glory. Special thanks to Minnesota Representative Dean Urdahl and his wife Karen for helping make this concert a reality.

Litchfield Opera House
Litchfield Opera House

The concert theme was “Here in America” and featured Minnesota Portraits, a work by a Minnesota composer Carl Schroeder. Mr. Schroeder was a former student of Keith’s when he was the band director at Southwest High School. The work is in three movements entitled: Historic Fort Snelling, Lake Calhoun Sunrise and Mississippi River. Other works on the concert included Kentucky 1800 by Glare Grundman and Shenandoah by Frank Ticheli. We ended the concert with a huge crowd favorite Gershwin!, a medley of songs from Ira and George Gershwin including Fascinating Rhythm, Someone to Watch Over Me and I Got Rhythm.

Litchfield audience
Our wonderful Litchfield audience

Our Last Tour of 2016: a Three-Day, Three-Concert Trip to Northern Minnesota's Iron Range

Our first stop was Moose Lake to perform a joint concert with the Moose Lake Community Band. The members of the Moose Lake Band were very gracious hosts and helped in many ways including providing percussion equipment from Moose Lake High School for our concert.

After spending the night at a local hotel, the band loaded up and headed for Cherry School in Iron Minnesota. What a pleasure it was for the band to play for over 400 students, from Kindergarten to High School age, who gave us rousing applause and visited with the band after the concert. During the trip we took the time to find out a little more about Iron Range history when we visited the Minnesota Discovery Center in Chisholm. We finished our tour with a concert at Northwoods High School in Cook, Minnesota.

Cherry school audience
Our friends from Cherry School in Iron, MN

Cherry band members
Members of the Cherry High School Band

Cherry students
Young students enjoying the show

The Minnesota State Band plans to return to the legislature next session to apply for new grants which will allow the band to continue to visiting the smaller communities in outstate Minnesota.

What to Expect in 2017

While our full schedule for 2017 is still in the planning stages, the Band is very excited about next year. Chuck Boody, in his new role as Associate Conductor, is arranging two very special concerts. The first performance will be March 31st at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ and the next day a second concert at the Litchfield Opera House. The band will welcome to the stage Ms. Erin Wind, a renowned mezzo soprano and composer from Richmond Virginia. Ms. Wind will sing in a performance of the last movement of Gustav Mahler’s 4th Symphony. This piece was recently arranged for the Peninsula Symphonic Winds by Jennifer Hillier, who has graciously provided the score and parts. In this movement, the singer tells of a child's view of heaven and is one of Mahler's loveliest works.

Another special work will be a medley of Jewish wedding music from Jay Fishman, Founding Director of the Minnesota Sinfonia, which was performed at his brother's wedding. Mr. Fishman has granted permission for the work, to be arranged for concert band, and the Minnesota State Band has commissioned Michael Serber, local composer and arranger, to complete this work. This new arrangement of “Mazel Tov” will be debuted at these concerts.

Finally, the Minnesota State Band is proud to announce that we have been asked to perform a concert as part of the Capitol Grand Opening celebration, August 11-13, 2017. Our state capitol has been closed during its three-year, 300-million-dollar renovation, repair and restoration. It is indeed fitting that the band be a part of this re-opening since 111 years ago on June 14, 1905, the Minnesota State Band performed in a Ceremony declared “Flag Day” when the battle flags from the Civil War and Spanish-American War were marched from the old State Capitol in downtown St. Paul to the New State Capitol on University Avenue.

We thank you all for your continued support for the “Only State Band in the Country.” With your help, we promise to reach out to people in towns of all sizes throughout the State of Minnesota and to continue the musical and historical journey of the Minnesota State Band.

Band at the biggest ball of twine
MSB on Tour

September 2016

Minnesota Representative Dean Urdahl, whom we met during a hearing on our application for a legacy grant two years ago, has invited the Minnesota State Band to play at the Litchfield Opera House. Built in 1900, this restored treasure has hosted traveling theater troupes, stage plays, musicals, lectures, readings, revivals, local musical performances, and gatherings of all kinds. On Saturday, September 24, they will host a performance by the Minnesota State Band. This will be the first concert for Keith Liuzzi as Musical Director.

Though there is a $5 admission fee for the concert, none of that money will go to the band. If you would like to donate, please consider becoming an associate member.


Newsletter Summer 2016

The Minnesota State Band is proud to introduce our new Associate Conductor and as of September 2016, the new Music Director of the Minnesota State Band, Keith Liuzzi.

Chuck Boody and Keith Liuzzi
Dr. Charles Boody and Mr. Keith Liuzzi during a recent rehearsal of the Minnesota State Band.

A Personal Note from Dr. Charles Boody

On August 17, fittingly at Como Park, I will end my tenure as director of The Minnesota State Band. This is not a decision I reached lightly, nor does it mean I am stepping away from the band completely. I will continue for at least a year as Associate Conductor, and am actively involved in an effort to write a history of the band. But I need to recognize that I cannot continue to be available to the band for 11 ½ months of the year. Time marches on, and I increasingly feel the need to spend more of what remains to me in personal pursuits.

I applied for this position because I had frequently said to others that I felt the Minnesota State Band should be among the best bands in the area. When the position opened I felt I must offer my own efforts to build upon the successes of Faye Anne Tetzlaff and Joe Komro. I came to the band in 2009. It has been six full and exciting years.

The Minnesota State Band is a hybrid organization. It began as a paid professional group, but over the years with the changes of the role of band music in community life it has become an organization of talented amateurs who give freely of their skills. In that respect it is a “community band,” though historically its role has been one of a State Band, representative of the State of Minnesota and for many years made up largely of State Government workers. So, it doesn’t fit comfortably in the community band category. That is probably as it should be.

My efforts have focused on several things:

(1) Improvement of repertoire (and the library) to attract players interested in stretching themselves musically while continuing to give the audience fine interesting performances.

(2) Increasing the attention of the players to the details of musical performance.

(3) Moving control of the management of the band from the director to the elected board. Previous conductors took on all of the publicity, concert organizing, financial matters and other non-music related needs. I have neither the time nor the skills to undertake such efforts. It is my view that the musical director should concern his/herself with picking and preparing the music. I feel a band is healthier when managed by a board and is not dependent on the director for all things.

(4) Changing the mindset of the membership from one that assumes the band is large enough so that any single player need not be regularly available to one that recognizes that every single player is important every week.

(5) Attracting new band members.

(6) Increasing the band’s visibility and following. Others must judge my success, but I can say that from my perspective I am proud of the progress we have made.

During my tenure we have had several works composed or arranged for the band. Most of those compositions have come from Minnesota Composers. The repertoire has also included much of the classic wind literature and also some fine contemporary works. I am particularly proud of performing the entire Lord of the Rings Symphony of Johan DeMeij. This is an extended work of almost 45 minutes requiring great care and effort on the part of the players. It was exciting to do and well received.

We have performed entire evenings of music by Minnesota composers. I hope to be involved in an ongoing effort to build a library of such works, not just to have them to perform, but also to make others aware of them. A related effort is underway to accumulate a complete repertoire list from the entire history of the band.

It is important as the last remaining state band that we celebrate our state and the band’s history. This combination of works from the Band’s history and the best new works for winds can mark this band’s special role and distinguish it from other bands. We have reached out to the community. We have performed concerts at the History Center, the Veteran’s Home, Fort Snelling and several schools. We hope to continue and expand that community involvement through participation in ceremonial events like the reopening of the State Capitol Building and also through outreach to communities, particularly smaller communities, throughout the state. In short, we hope to truly become Minnesota’s Band. I was fortunate to be involved in the beginnings of these efforts and expect they will continue to expand through the fine efforts of the board and the new director.

So, I leave a group poised to continue to move forward with a secure board, conductor, and increasingly support from our listeners. I will be excited to watch how things go!

Get to Know Keith Liuzzi

Keith Liuzzi
“(The Minnesota State Band) is a real asset to the community and I am excited to bring my expertise as a musician and conductor to the group,” Keith Liuzzi.

For 19 years Keith Liuzzi was the Music Director at Southwest High School in Minneapolis. He was responsible for the entire band program including Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Marching and Pep Bands. Additional responsibilities included the Orchestra Program, String and Chamber Orchestras, teaching International Baccalaureate (history, theory and composition), and the Pit Orchestra for the annual high school musical.

Keith also directed the Jazz Program at Southwest High School which included traditional Big Band Jazz, Dixieland band and various smaller jazz combos. Several of these award winning jazz ensembles have been featured on KBEM, Twin Cities Jazz Fest and at the Artists Quarter in the Young Artists Series. In 2012 the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education (DFJE) awarded Keith the Jane Matteson Award for Outstanding Jazz Educator.

As a professional musician, Keith sings in an a cappella quartet, Merrie Old Christmas Carolers; is a church soloist; and freelances on trombone with various Twin Cities’ orchestras, bands and jazz groups. He is a member of the Minnesota Band Directors Association (MBDA) and the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA). Keith is a graduate of Augsburg College with graduate credits from Vander Cook College of Music in Chicago.

The Minnesota State Band Announces Two Upcoming Musical Tours of Minnesota

Minnesota Representative Dean Urdahl, whom we met during a hearing on our application for a legacy grant two years ago, has invited the Minnesota State Band to play at the Litchfield Opera House. Built in 1900, this restored treasure has hosted traveling theater troupes, stage plays, musicals, lectures, readings, revivals, local musical performances, and gatherings of all kinds. On Saturday September 24, they will host a performance by the Minnesota State Band. This will be the first concert for Keith Liuzzi as Musical Director. Our second tour will be a three-day tour of Northern Minnesota. We will perform some concerts including a joint one with the band at North Woods School in Cook, Minnesota.

Both of these tours will provide many opportunities for the Minnesota State Band to fulfill its mission “to truly be The Official Band of the State of Minnesota.”

The Minnesota State Band Needs Your Help

As you know, our organization has been active for over 118 years. During that time one constant has been the generous financial support the band receives from our Associate Members. The Minnesota State Band does not charge an admission fee. All of our concerts are Free. Every member of this band pays an annual membership fee for the privilege of being a part of this band. Finally, although we are the “Official Band of the State of Minnesota” we receive no monetary assistance from the State of Minnesota. We are entirely self-funded.

This spring we received some disappointing financial news. Our application for a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council was denied. For the last five years, we have relied upon this grant to fund our concert expenses which primarily include renting a U-haul truck to transport the larger band instruments and music to our concerts and paying for a stage manager and assistant.

While all non-profits experience ups and downs in funding, a drop off in funding can be especially difficult for smaller non-profits like the Minnesota State Band. Our annual budget is a mere $12,000; so when there is a $5000 drop in funding it hurts.

Rest assured that the band has the resources to weather this storm, at least on a short term basis. We have, however, had to dip into our reserves to fund this summer’s concerts. Just like a family, using ones savings to pay for day-to-day expenses is not a long term solution.

The band for its part has done everything we can think of to cut back on expenses. We also plan to apply again in the fall for restoration of our MRAC grant. If you are financially able to increase your donation to help resolve our shortfall, we would be immensely grateful.

While associate membership remains a mere $25 per year, we now offer several membership levels. For a contribution of $50-99 you become a Bronze Level Member; $100-249 makes you a Silver Level Member, and for a contribution of $250 and above, you qualify as a Gold Level Member. The Minnesota State Band will list the names of all contributors in the Bronze, Silver and Gold categories in our concert programs. Finally, if you have the ability to contribute $450 or more, you will be listed as a Concert Sponsor.

Bears of the band

March 2016

The Minnesota State Band's First Concert of the 2016 Season

On Sunday March 13 at 7:00 pm the Minnesota State Band will perform at Edinborough Park, 7700 York Avenue South, Edina. This concert will help to answer the question, How well do you really know the music of John Philip Sousa?

First, we start with a familiar Sousa march, The United States Field Artillery March. But then we rediscover two previously unpublished classical works by this musical genius: Among My Souvenirs, A Humoresque and The El Capitan Waltzes.

Also on the program is The Hobbits, from Symphony Number 1, The Lord of the Rings, by Johan de Meij. Finally, magnificent and uplifting melodies from Aaron Copland's The Promise of Living.

As is always the case, our concerts are free and open to everyone. Please, come join us for an evening of fine music.


Newsletter Summer 2015

The Minnesota State Band on a barge on Lake Como
Band Concert, Lake Como, approximately 1904. The band played from a floating barge, while the audience in the Pavilion faced toward the lake.
Photo from the Minnesota Historical Society.

Our Very First Concert at Como Park: June 26, 1898

The summer of 1898 was a very busy one for the Minnesota State Band. The Band was incorporated on April 20th and played at several events in St. Paul during April and May. On June 26th, the Band presented its first two concerts at Como Park, opening the summer concert season there and beginning a tradition of annual summer appearances at that venue. The 25-piece ensemble, under the baton of Professor Christian Marius Selling, gave both a 3:00 PM and an 8:00 PM concert. The two completely different programs consisted of marches, overtures, dance music and some solo pieces for the trumpet and baritone players. The afternoon concert included a performance of John Philip Sousa’s new march, Stars and Stripes Forever.

According to newspaper accounts of the day, an estimated 5,000 people came out to Como Park on the 26th, to enjoy the beautiful park and listen to the Minnesota State Band. But that was not the only time the Band played at Como Park during the summer of 1898. In July, the Band was engaged for a week of concerts, every evening, with an additional one on Sunday afternoon, for a total of eight concerts. The evening performances began at 8:00 PM and continued until 10:00 PM, some of them ending with a display of fireworks, which really brought out the crowds. This schedule was repeated in August, for another full week of eight concerts at the Pavilion. In all, the Band played nineteen concerts at Como Park that summer.

The 2015 Como Park Concert Series

First Concert: Wednesday July 29

Our first concert at Como Park features A little something for everyone. Start with the beautiful, rich melodies from works such as When Jesus Wept and Ave Maria. Add a couple of marches like Americans We, Hail Minnesota (arranged by our beloved former conductor, Joe Komro), and the Sousa classic El Capitan. Then get ready to jump and jive to a lively medley of swing tunes with Jump Swing Fever. Finally add one of the most popular classical works ever written, the Light Cavalry Overture. Music begins at 7 pm.

Second Concert: Wednesday August 5

During our second concert we sample Classical Treasures from Europe. Our journey starts in France, a work from French composer Jacques Offenbach, Ballet Parisien. Then comes a Spanish march entitled Amparito Roca. From Germany, we have Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and Felix Mendelssohn’s Opus 24. Then it is on to England for the classic English march, Colonel Bogey. And finally, from Russia, the powerful music from the Coronation Scene from Mussorgsky’s opera Boris Godunov. Music begins at 7 pm.

Final Concert: Wednesday August 12

Our final Como Concert presents a Salute to America. We start with the E. E. Bagley favorite, National Emblem. Then great music from the American musical stage including Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Oscar Hammerstein and Jerome Kern’s immortal Showboat. Next, music that celebrates our beloved county and honors the men and women who gave their lives in her defense. From the Civil War era, Around the Campfire; from the period of the First World War, The Vanished Army. From the Second World War, Third Army March. Follow that up with Armed Forces – The Pride of America!, America the Beautiful and God Bless America and you have one Star Spangled evening! Music begins at 7 pm.

One More Show to Tell You About

Monday, July 27 at 7 pm. the band will play a concert at Brookview Park, Large Amphitheater, 200 Brookview Parkway N. Golden Valley. Visit our web page for detailed directions and concert information.

The Minnesota State Band playing at Fort Snelling National Cemetery

Great News from the State Capitol!
Both bills Sponsored on Behalf of the Minnesota State Band Passed!!

The Omnibus Legacy bill was passed in 2015 during the Special Session. The bill included the following language:

Subd. 12. State band.

The commissioner must provide free rehearsal and storage space in the same building in the Capitol Area to an entity known as the Minnesota State Band, which is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The above language “formalizes” an informal agreement between the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota State Band that has existed for more than 50 years, that is use by the band of space in the Transportation Building in St. Paul for weekly rehearsals as well as instrument and music storage.

The second provision was directed to the Legacy funds controlled by the legislature. It reads:

(m) Minnesota State Band

$10,000 each year is for a grant to the Minnesota State Band to promote and increase public performances across Minnesota.

These funds will help us to replace some very tired percussion equipment, repair, replace or add other instruments and update the music library. The money will also help support our efforts at outreach by helping to support tours of the Minnesota State Band throughout our state. Those tours will be designed not only to bring fine band music to the smaller, out-state communities, but also to support local school and community bands programs.

Thank You!!!

Thank you so much to our associate members and supporters who took the time to write their legislator on behalf of the Minnesota State Band. The Minnesota State Band has several enthusiastic supporters in the Minnesota Legislature. Please let them know that you appreciate their efforts on our behalf.

In the House: Rep. Phyllis Kahn, Rep. Mary Murphy, Rep. Mike Freiberg, Rep. Diane Loeffler; Rep. Joe Mullery; Rep Jerry Newton; Rep. Dean Urdahl, Chairman of the House Legacy Funding Finance Committee.

In the Senate: Sen. Kari Dziedzic, Sen. Ann H. Rest, President Pro Tem; Sen. Jim Carlson; Sen. Richard Cohen; Sen. D. Scott Dibble.

The Minnesota State Band panda bear and puppy dog
Panda Bear and Puppy thank you too.

Renew your Associate Membership Today!!

The Minnesota State Band is proud of the many people who have taken an active interest in Minnesota's community band. Our Associate Member program was created for individuals like you, who would like to be on-going, active supporters of the State Band.

Associate Members receive periodic newsletters regarding band activities and events, reminders before major concerts and recognition at concerts. Yearly membership dues of $25.00 are tax deductible. Your membership provides the funding to continue the active concert schedule of the Minnesota State Band, "The Only Remaining State Band in the Country."

If you would like to become an associate member of the Minnesota State Band or renew your membership, please complete the form below and mail it with your donation to Minnesota State Band, PO Box 130033, Saint Paul, MN 55113. If you prefer, you may make a donation using a credit or debit card. Just go to GiveMN.org.

Name:____________________________________________________________ 

Address:_____________________________________________________________________ 

City________________________ State_________ Zip Code:__________________ 
 
Telephone:___________________ E-mail Address:______________________________
    
 Amount Enclosed:_______________________ 
     

Thank You for Your Support!

The Minnesota State Band is funded, in part, by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Visit us at www.minnesotastateband.org. Like us on Facebook. Visit and donate at GiveMN.


July 2015

Special Announcement: The Minnesota State Band will perform at Roseville Central Park on Tuesday July 7.

Starting at 7:30 pm. the Minnesota State Band will begin the first half of the concert with a variety of selections that are sure to appeal to everyone’s musical tastes. We start with a march, “Pieces of 8”; then selections from the Broadway Show, “Showboat”; next, a collection of Big Band Jazz tunes called “Big Band Signatures” and to end the first half, one of the most famous and exciting classical works ever written, the “Light Cavalry Overture.” Following a short intermission, the band will play music that celebrates our beloved county and honors the men and women who gave their lives in her defense. From the Civil War era, “Around the Campfire”; from the period of the First World War the “Vanished Army.” “Hymn to the Fallen” is next recognizing those who died during the invasion of Normandy. Follow that up with a Salute to our Armed Forces, America the Beautiful and God Bless America.

So come join the only remaining state band left in the country, for a beautiful evening at the Frank Rog Amphitheater.


January 2015

The Minnesota State Band Needs Your Help

We have two bills before the Minnesota Legislature this session and they need your support!

What are the bills and why are they needed?

HF 0017 provides that:

The commissioner must provide free rehearsal and storage space in the same building in the Capitol Area to an entity known as the Minnesota State Band, which is a tax exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

The bill relating to rehearsal and storage space was created to clarify and formalize a situation that has been in place for more than 50 years.  For much of that time our director, Joseph Komro, was a state employee. He secured the rehearsal space in the basement of the State Transportation Building through informal arrangements. After Joseph Komro passed away and because of the demand for increased security after 9/11 there has been some confusion about our right to use the space and at one point we were asked to vacate the space. After some consultations with legislators and their representatives it was decided that a bill formalizing the space use issues was the best solution.  The passage of this bill will clarify our right to rehearse in a state facility.

The second bill, HF 0019 provides:

Section 1. APPROPRIATION; MINNESOTA STATE BAND.

$25,000 in fiscal year 2016 and $25,000 in fiscal year 2017 are appropriated from the arts and cultural heritage fund to the commissioner of administration for a grant to the Minnesota State Band to promote and increase public performances across Minnesota, and to preserve the history of the state band.

The second bill, requesting funding was suggested by a few of our many supporters in the Minnesota Legislature, specifically Rep. Mike Freiberg, Rep. Mary Murphy and Rep. Phyllis Kahn. There has been no funding since then Governor Pawlenty line item vetoed a $300.00 request.  Our supporters suggested funding through the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund, a part of the “Legacy Amendment” which was approved by Minnesota voters in 2008.

These funds would help us to replace some very tired percussion equipment, repair, replace or add other instruments, and update the music library. It would also help support our efforts at outreach by helping to support tours throughout the state. Those tours would be designed not only to bring fine band music to the smaller out state communities, but also to support the local school and community bands programs. 

The allocation of $50,000 to the Minnesota State Band will not take away any money from human services, natural resources, road repair or any other worthy project. IT WILL NOT RAISE YOUR TAXES.

It would merely transfer some additional money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund to support a century old non-profit arts organization, your Minnesota State Band. Money from the arts and cultural heritage fund is used by hundreds of Minnesota arts organizations, large and small, to preserve Minnesota’s Cultural Heritage. Proceeds from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund “may be spent only on arts, arts education and arts access and to preserve Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage.”

Please write your legislators in the state house and the senate to support the passage of HF 0017 and HF 0019.

With your help we can continue to perform great music on behalf of the State of Minnesota for another 117 years!!

Craig Allen

President, Minnesota State Band


March 2014

Minnesota State Band Spring Concert

The Minnesota State Band is the Official Band of the State of Minnesota and was founded in 1898. Our 60-piece Concert Band is the only remaining State Band in the nation.

Come join us for our Spring Concert on Friday, March 14th at Anishinabe Academy. The first half of our concert will feature original music for concert band by American composers such as Henry Fillmore, Morton Gould and Vincent Persichetti. The second half will include three transcriptions; from a Broadway show, an orchestral work and a film score. Music selections include Candide Suite by Leonard Bernstein, Elmer Bernstein’s Jazz Selections based on “The Man with the Golden Arm” and Missouri Shindig by Owen Reed.

Our Concert starts at 7 PM and is Free. For a more information about the history of the band and for a copy of our 2014 Concert Schedule which will include summer concerts at the Crystal Community Center, Fort Snelling, Roseville Central Park, Lake Harriet and Como Park, visit us at www.minnesotastateband.org.


December 2013

Minnesota State Band
Fall Concert
Friday December 13, 7:30 pm
North Central University
Trask Word and Worship Center
1410 Elliot Avenue
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Our Fall Concert

The Minnesota State Band is proud to play our Fall Concert at a new venue this year. North Central University in Minneapolis is the school where our associate conductor, Kevin Mills teaches music. He has reserved a beautiful auditorium for the concert.

Our concert begins with the regal English march Crown Imperial performed most recently as a recessional piece to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton. Then it’s the somber and beautiful melodies of Nimrod from “Enigma Variations” by Edward Elgar. The Second half features two very famous works of the stage, The Phantom of the Opera, by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gilbert & Sullivan’s light opera H.M.S. Pinafore.

And if you are looking for that perfect gift this holiday season, consider a Minnesota State Band Teddy Bear, now available in cream color and oh so adorable; a gift to you for a $20 dollar contribution.

So please join us for this special concert. We would love to have you as our guest!

Driving Directions to North Central University

From the SOUTH

North on 35W. Take Exit 16A W on the left toward Downtown/I-94 W. Continue straight onto 5th Ave before turning Right at 8th Street. Turn Right again at 9th Avenue and then take the 1st left onto Elliot Ave. You have now arrived on the campus of North Central University.

From the EAST

West on 94. Take Exit 234B to merge onto 5th Street. Make a slight Left onto 11th Avenue. Proceed to 14th Street and take a Right. Go two blocks. You have now arrived on the campus of North Central University.

From the NORTH

South on 35W. Take the 11th Avenue Exit. Cross over 11th Avenue, and go two blocks. Take a Right on Elliot Avenue. Go straight for 1½ blocks. You have now arrived on the campus of North Central University.

From the WEST

East on 94. Take the 4th Street Exit. Proceed on 4th Street to Kirby Puckett Place/Chicago Avenue, and turn Right. Turn Left on 10th Street, continue onto 14th Street and then take the 1st left onto Elliot Avenue. You have now arrived on the campus of North Central University.

OR

East on 394 to downtown exits. Continue to 4th street ramp. Proceed on 4th Street to Kirby Puckett Place/Chicago Avenue, and turn Right. Turn Left on 10th Street, continue onto 14th Street and then take the 1st left onto Elliot Avenue. You have now arrived on the campus of North Central University.

Parking

The parking ramp is located directly across from the main entrance of Trask Center at 1410 Elliot Ave. All “Visitor Parking” spots on Elliot are also available.


August 2013

It's that time of year again for our Annual Como Park Concert Series at the beautiful Lakeside Pavilion in Saint Paul. This year’s concerts are Wednesday, July 31st, August 7th, and August 14th, at 7 PM. Every concert will feature different selections so plan to attend all three!

Did you know that one of the Minnesota State Band’s first performances ever was in 1901 at Como Park! To quote from the St. Paul Dispatch newspaper of Saturday, June 22, 1901, “This organization is demonstrating its leadership among the bands of the state. Ten thousand people heard it last Sunday evening, probably the largest crowd that has been drawn out by a local musical organization.”

Our first concert on July 31st will be a special Family Concert featuring the classic children’s tale, Peter and the Wolf. This familiar story will be narrated by Chris Thiesen Wehrman. The composer, Serge Prokofieff, provides each character in the story with their own unique musical theme. There is a clever bird, a careless duck, a sneaky cat, an old Grandfather, a big grey wolf, some rather inept hunters, and of course our brave hero, Peter. Special coloring sheets and crayons will be provided to allow the young ones to feel a part of this classic Russian Tale. Additional songs for the young ones include The Children’s March, and Variations on Pop Goes the Weasel.

Our concert on August 7th will include Something for Everyone. The first half of the concert will feature our Principal Clarinet, Fred Larson, playing the Rondo movement from Mozart’s Concerto for Clarinet. Next, the unforgettable music from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, OKLAHOMA! And finally, the soaring (and explosive) melodies from Tschaikowsky’s famous 1812 Overture.

Our final Como Park Concert on August 14th will be A Salute to America. We start with a selection of Civil War melodies entitled Around the Campfire in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. Our featured work tonight will be Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, with a narration that includes some of Lincoln’s most memorable speeches. And what Salute to America would be complete without the Stars and Stripes Forever.

So you see, whatever your musical tastes, we've got you covered. So come on out and help support the only remaining state band in the nation! We'd love to see you!


July 2013

Minnesota State Band Performs in Roseville

The Minnesota State Band will present a concert on Tuesday, July 9 at 7:30 pm at the Roseville Central Park Band Shell, 2540 Lexington Ave. N., Roseville.

The 50-piece group is the official band of the State of Minnesota. Founded in 1898, it is the only remaining state band in the nation. This is the group’s first known appearance in Roseville.

The Band plays a wide variety of music to appeal to community audiences. This concert has a patriotic flavor that includes familiar marches, Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” campfire and patriotic songs from the Civil War era, and selections from Oklahoma.

The concert is free and open to the public.


April 2013

Free Concert at Crystal Community Center

The Minnesota State Band will kick off our 115th season on Wednesday, May 1st at 7:30 pm with a free concert at the Crystal Community Center (4800 Douglas Drive N., Crystal, MN).

This concert will please all ages with familiar tunes set for band, such as Sousa’s “Fugue on Yankee Doodle,” Moore’s “Fantasy on Childhood Songs,” Hull’s “Drunken Sailor,” and the rousing “American Salute” by Morton Gould. We will also feature our solo clarinetist of ten years, Fred Larson, playing the third movement of Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.

The hour-long program will conclude around 8:30 pm, and is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!


December 2012

On December 12, The Minnesota State Band will team up with the Roosevelt High School Band for a joint concert to raise money for the High School’s music program: and

We Need Your Help!

The music program at Roosevelt High School in South Minneapolis needs money to buy sheet music, musical instruments and music stands to accommodate an expanding and dynamic music program. According to Band Director Tom Wells, the band is in a rebuilding phase. Due to budget cuts the Roosevelt High School Band barely existed two years ago. (Read an article on WCCO about the band.) The new band students, mostly freshman and sophomores have a great attitude. The only thing holding them back is the lack of quality instruments for students to play.

To help raise money for the music program, The Minnesota State Band will play a joint concert with the Roosevelt High School Band at Roosevelt High School, 4029 28th Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN 55406, on Wednesday, December 12.

Selections will include Castlebay Overture by James Ployhar and Russian Christmas Music by Alfred Reed.

The featured work for the concert will be a performance of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, with Former WCCO-TV news anchor Don Shelby as narrator.

Since this is a fund raising concert, there is an admission charge. $10 dollars for Adults and $1 dollar for students with proper ID. However no family will be asked to pay more than $12 dollars for admission.

This is a very worthy cause and one that the Minnesota State Band is proud to be a part of. Please join us for a night of fine music. The concert starts at 7 PM.

The Roosevelt High School Band

Thanks for Your support!!!

The Roosevelt High School Band

November 2012

Family Concert November 14

Our first concert this fall is on November 14 at Lakeview Lutheran Church in Maplewood. (Corner of County Road C and Highway 61). The first half of the concert will be for the young and the young at heart. There is the Children's March: On Songs the Youngsters Sing by Edwin Goldman and a comical tune entitled Variations on Pop! Goes the Weasel by Cailliet. But the highlight of the first half will be Serge Prokofieff's Peter and the Wolf. This familiar classic includes extensive narration and uses different instruments to play the roles of the characters in the story. There is a clever bird, a careless duck, a sneaky cat, an old Grandfather, a big grey wolf, some rather inept hunters, and of course our brave hero, Peter. Each character has its own unique musical theme. Special coloring sheets and crayons will be provided to allow the young ones to feel a part of this classic Russian Tale.

The second half starts with the rousing march Old Comrades. Then it's the beautiful melodies of Prayer and Dream Pantomime from Hansel and Gretel by Humperdinck. The grand finally is Alfred Reed's glorious Russian Christmas Music. This free concert starts at 7 PM with refreshments following the concert.

Fundraiser Concert to Support Roosevelt High Music Program

We are in the process of organizing a fund raising concert on December 12 to benefit the Music Program at Roosevelt High School in South Minneapolis. Roosevelt High needs money for band instruments and music and the Minnesota State Band is going to lend a hand. Details are still being worked out, so check our Concerts page near the end of November for the latest information.


August 2012

Get Ready for Three at Como!

It's that time of year again for the Minnesota State Band's Como Concert Series at the beautiful Como Park Lakeside Pavilion in Saint Paul. This year's concerts are Wednesday, August 1st, August 8th and August 15th and start at 7 PM.

Every concert will feature different selections so plan to attend all three!

Did you know that one of the Minnesota State Band's first performances ever was in 1901 at Como Park! To quote from the St. Paul Dispatch newspaper of Saturday, June 22, 1901, "This organization is demonstrating its leadership among the bands of the state. Ten thousand people heard it last Sunday evening, probably the largest crowd that has been drawn out by a local musical organization."

This year's concert on August 1st 2012 will include a mix of soaring classical music, upbeat marches and memorable show tunes. A few of the highlights include the very familiar themes from Rossini's William Tell Overture; the lightning fast tempos of Shostakovich's Folk Dances and beautiful pastoral melodies from Aaron Copland's The Promise of Living. Marches include Washington Greys and March of the Belgian Parachutists. And as for musicals, we present music from the light-opera classic, The Student Prince.

Our concert on August 8th will feature Holst's First Suite in E flat for Military Band; a selection of Civil War melodies in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of that conflict called Around the Campfire, and several rousing marches such as El Capitan, National Emblem and March Sixth, arranged for the Minnesota State Band by Jim McCreary. Finally, the unforgettable music from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific will be sure to take you away to the mystical island paradise of Bali Ha'i.

August 15th, will feature patriotic favorites like John Philip Sousa's Semper Fidelis, John William's Hymn to the Fallen and the Armed Forces Salute. American music also is highlighted in Robert Russell Bennett's Suite of Old American Dances. And of course what concert of American music could be complete without the Stars and Stripes Forever.

So you see, whatever your musical tastes, we've got you covered. So come on out and help support the only remaining state band in the nation! We'd love to see you!


November, 2011

Minnsota State Band To Peform Two Concerts This Fall

On November 16th, 2011 the Band will perform our Fall Concert at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Minneapolis. The concert will honor our Veterans with lively patriotic music and marches. Particular emphasis will be on music from the American Civil War era in recognition of the 150th anniversary of the War. Selections will include Clare Grundman's The Blue and the Gray (a Civil War Suite), Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait, narrated by special guest James Ahrens, John Williams' Hymn to the Fallen, and always a crowd pleaser, Rossini's William Tell Overture. The concert is free and open to the public and begins at 7 pm.

On December 14th, 2011 the band will perform a Holiday Concert at the Lakeview Lutheran Church in Maplewood. We will be joined for this concert by Canon Brass, who performed with the band at Como Park in August. This concert is meant to thank two very special groups of patrons. First, we wish to thank all of the Associate Members of the Minnesota State Band who through their generous donations have helped to make this year's fundraising one of our most successful. Second, we wish to thank the Members of the Lakeview Lutheran Church. During the State Government Shutdown in June, the State Band was prevented from rehearsing at our usual location, the State Transportation Building. When Lakeview Lutheran heard of our problem, the church graciously offered space for the band to store equipment and to rehearse for our summer season free of charge.

Our Holiday Concert starts at 7 pm, with a reception to follow. And if you didn't have a chance this summer to get your own Minnesota State Band Teddy Bear, come to the concert. The soft and cuddly Teddy Bear is a special gift for a new or renewing associate membership of $20.00 and makes a lovely gift.


July, 2011

Breaking News!!! Now that State Shutdown is Over, Our Concert at History Center is Back On.

Seniors in Mind: American Muse, with the Minnesota State Band and Master of Ceremonies Stan Turner

Minnesota History Center, St. Paul MN

On July 26, 2011 the band will perform two concerts at the Minnesota History Center. The concerts are entitled Seniors in Mind: American Muse, with the Minnesota State Band. The Band will perform a variety of music by American composers, including Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael as well as foot-tapping American march music with a salute to our armed forces. Both concerts are hosted by popular Twin Cities' television and radio personality Stan Turner. There will be two seatings for the program, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The concert itself is Free ($8 senior admission to museum galleries not included) but reservations are required by calling 651-259-3015 or registering online at www.minnesotahistorycenter.org. These same concerts sold out last year so please make your reservations early. If you can't make the History Center Concert, you can join us in Edina on Sunday July 31st at 7:00 p.m. for a concert at Centennial Lakes Park. Or meet us at Como Park in St. Paul at 7 p.m. on August 3, 10 or 17th. There are plenty of chances this summer to come and hear your Minnesota State Band in concert.


February, 2011

Minnesota State Band Spring Concert Set for March 16

Our first concert of the year is on March 16, 2011 at the Sullivan Anishinabe Academy in Minneapolis. The featured work will be The Lord of The Rings Symphony by Dutch composer Johan de Meij. This work, written between 1984 and 1987, is not the film score but a symphonic work inspired by the novels of J.R.R. Tolkien. There are five movements.

I. GANDALF (The Wizard) The first movement is a musical portrait of the wizard Gandalf, one of the principal characters of the trilogy. His wise and noble personality is expressed by a stately motif which is used in a different form in movements IV and V. The sudden opening of the Allegro vivace is indicative of the unpredictability of the grey wizard, followed by a wild ride on his beautiful horse Shadowfax.

II. LOTHLÓRIEN (The Elvenwood) The second movement is an impression of Lothlórien, the Elvenwood with its beautiful trees, plants, exotic birds, expressed through woodwind solos. The meeting of the Hobbit Frodo with the Lady Galadriel is embodied in a charming Allegretto; in the Mirror of Galadriel, a silver basin in the wood, Frodo glimpses three visions, the last of which, a large ominous Eye, greatly upsets him.

III. GOLLUM (Sméagol) The third movement describes the monstrous creature Gollum, a slimy, shy being represented by the soprano saxophone. It mumbles and talks to itself, hisses and lisps, whines and snickers, is alternately pitiful and malicious, is continually fleeing and looking for his cherished treasure, the Ring.

IV. JOURNEY IN THE DARK The fourth movement describes the laborious journey of the Fellowship of the Ring, headed by the wizard Gandalf, through the dark tunnels of the Mines of Moria. The slow walking cadenza and the fear are clearly audible in the monotonous rhythm of the low brass, piano and percussion. After a wild pursuit by hostile creatures, the Orcs, Gandalf is engaged in battle with a horrible monster, the Balrog, and crashes from the subterranean bridge of Khazad-Dûm in a fathomless abyss. To the melancholy tones of a Marcia funèbre, the bewildered Companions trudge on, looking for the only way out of the Mines, the East Gate of Moria.

V. HOBBITS The fifth movement expresses the carefree and optimistic character of the Hobbits in a happy folk dance; the hymn that follows emanates the determination and noblesse of the hobbit folk. The symphony does not end on an exuberant note, but is concluded peacefully and resigned, in keeping with the symbolic mood of the last chapter "The Grey Havens" in which Frodo and Gandalf sail away in a white ship and disappear slowly beyond the horizon.

Other works on the program include William Byrd Suite by Gordon Jacob and two works by Jacques Offenbach, the Ballet Parisien and Galop from Genevieve de Brabant. Come join us for a night of great classical music.

The Minnesota State Band Announces Two Concerts at the Minnesota History Center Auditorium on July 26th

The Two concerts are entitled, Seniors in Mind: American Muse, with the Minnesota State Band. The Band will perform a variety of music by American composers, including Aaron Copland, Charles Ives, Duke Ellington and Hoagy Carmichael as well as foot-tapping American march music with a salute to our armed forces. Both concerts are hosted by popular Twin Cities television and radio personality Stan Turner. There will be two seatings for the program, at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The concert itself is Free ($8 senior admission to museum galleries not included) but reservations are required by calling 651-259-3015 or registering online at www.minnesotahistorycenter.org. These same concerts sold out last year so please make your reservations early.


October, 2010

Minnesota State Band Fall Concert Set For November

The Minnesota State Band is pleased to announce a fall concert on Sunday, November 14, at 2:00 pm. at Grace Methodist Church in Burnsville. The concert is being sponsored by Sigma Alpha Iota International Music Fraternity. Founded in 1903, the mission of Sigma Alpha Iota and its members is to encourage, nurture and support the art of music. Sigma Alpha Iota is a leader in the pursuit of music creation, performance and scholarship and the Minnesota State Band is proud of the opportunity to collaborate with this internationally renowned organization.

This will be the first concert of the Minnesota State Band's "Great Transcriptions Series"; a year-long exploration by the band of great orchestral transcriptions for winds. The first half of the concert will feature Toccata by Gaspari Casado, O Magnum Mysterium by Martin Lauridsen, and Trauersinfonie, scored by Richard Wagner from music of Carl Maria von Weber. The second half of our concert will feature works by Minnesota composers including Libby Larsen and Carol Barnett, both Sigma Alpha Iota members. After the concert, there will be grand reception, hosted by our sponsors. Please join us for a memorable night of great classical music and fellowship.