Press Release: Brush Up On Your Brass!

Vintage Band Festival




Brush Up On Your Brass!
Vintage Band Festival Aug. 1-4, 2013

NORTHFIELD, MN (March 23, 2013) – The Vintage Band Festival is once again proud to present performances from a wide variety of brass bands. A rich history is found in British-style brass bands. Two Minnesota-based bands in this tradition will appear at the Vintage Band Festival in August — the Lake Wobegon® Brass Band and the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band.

This band style began during Britain’s industrial era, when newly invented brass valves were being mass-produced. The resulting cultural change took “playing in a band” to a new level, inspiring challenging contests that enlivened the working communities, heightening spirits and creating a category of band music all its own. Today the North American Brass Band Association embodies this tradition passed down through the centuries, while many heritages continue to embrace British-style music throughout the world.

An important distinction with British-style brass band instruments is that they were standardized and transposed to the treble clef, meaning you could pick up just about any instrument and you wouldn’t have to learn new fingering (just adjust to the new mouthpiece) – for example playing a Soprano Cornet (E♭) could be taught like a Flugelhorn (B♭) or a Tenor Horn (E♭) according to the notes on the staff.

Populated by music educators and serious amateurs from around the Mississippi River shores, the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band of Red Wing plays a regular series of performances at the T.B. Sheldon Auditorium as a “house band” and also performs concerts in other regional communities. They have played at the National Brass Band competition and even hosted the event in Red Wing one year. They also appeared at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky. This will be the band’s third appearance at the Vintage Band Festival.

The Lake Wobegon® Brass Band formed in 1992 and is cosponsored by Anoka-Ramsey Community College and the Anoka Brass Band Association. When Garrison Keillor was contacted regarding the band’s name, he responded, “I’m happy to give my permission. The only condition is that you will let me know when the band is formed…and that at some mutually convenient time, you’ll play at a picnic for me. Good Luck.”

The band’s many notable performances include the 35th anniversary show for A Prairie Home Companion and a number of music educators’ conferences.

“We had a blast being a part of the Vintage Band Festival in 2006 and 2010 and look forward to a chance to be a part of the festivities again in Northfield this summer,” said Chris Ravndal, the band’s executive manager and principal solo cornet.

The Vintage Band Festival is a four-day celebration featuring bands from across the US and abroad. Over 100 concerts fill the streets of historic Northfield and will be staged at satellite sites throughout southern Minnesota on August 1-4. The Festival offers a variety of genres, ethnic influences, and period-style performances. Visit for more information.

Find the VBF on Facebook at “Vintage Band Festival” and Twitter at @vintagebandfest.

8/25/08 - Red Wing, Minn. - Sheldon Brass Band

Sheldon Theatre Brass Band


Lake Wobegon® Brass Band