Vintage and Modern at Vintage Band Festival 2017

Vintage Band Festival 2017 will celebrate musical traditions spanning more than a century on July 29 in Downtown Northfield, MN. At the beginning of the day, we will be showcasing the Fifes and Drums of Historic Fort Snelling. At the end of the day we will be welcoming McNasty Brass Band to the stage. Both of these ensembles are performing for the first time at Vintage Band Festival.

Fifes and Drums of Historic Fort Snelling  11:00-11:45am

The Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums is a volunteer musical ensemble dedicated to representing the fort’s long history through music. The corps performs concerts and field shows in the fort on selected Saturdays from late May through mid-August. The corps also performs in concerts and parades in the Twin Cities area. Our goal is to gain a national reputation by performing throughout Minnesota and participating in fife-and-drum musters and clinics across the country.

Founded in 1971 when the historic site opened, the Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums took a hiatus after only a few years. Music duties at the fort were handled by the interpretive staff, but their performance opportunities were limited. The full corps was revived in 2014 using staff musicians and student volunteers. The musical repertoire now spans from the Revolutionary War through World War II, the years when Fort Snelling was an active post of the United States Army.

McNasty Brass Band  8:30-10:00pm

McNasty Brass Band is a collection of Minneapolis/Saint Paul based horn players and percussionists that fuse the Minneapolis sound with the spirit of New Orleans. The outcome of this fusion is hard-hitting dance music and high-energy live shows.

Each player works tirelessly outside McNasty Brass Band as a side-man, some with national and international touring acts. That’s what makes McNasty special– these youthful but experienced side-men come together and showcase their compositions, solos, group vocals, and stage presence as front-men. “McNasty Brass Band is a perfect example of why you shouldn’t make fun of the kid who is super into trumpet in 5th grade” (twincitiesmedia.net). “King Size Life,” their first studio album (available January 27, 2017), encapsulates their live energy with exciting compositions, rowdy gang vocals, and rip-roaring solos. The only thing missing is their dance moves!

We welcome you to Northfield for the entire 12 hours of the concert schedule. Riverwalk Market Fair will share Bridge Square with us from 9am-1pm. For the complete schedule and information about all of the bands, go to the VBF website.

Vintage Band Festival Announces Band Roster for 2017 Festival

For Immediate Release

May 26, 2017

Vintage Band Festival Announces Band Roster for 2017 Festival

The band roster for the upcoming July 29 festival is now complete. Crowd favorites among the bands returning to Vintage Band Festival in 2017 include Bavarian Musikmeisters, Sheldon Theater Brass Band, Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble, Brio Brass, and Copper Street Brass. New this year will be the Fife and Drum Corps from Historic Fort Snelling in St. Paul, Brass Lassie, and the McNasty Brass Band.

Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums–The Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums is a volunteer musical ensemble dedicated to representing the fort’s long history through music. The musical repertoire spans from the Revolutionary War through World War II, the years when Fort Snelling was an active post of the United States Army.

Brass LassieBrass Lassie performs extraordinary arrangements of Scottish, Irish and French music, mainly traditional, featuring a four-piece horn section, a terrific rhythm section, plus fiddles, flutes, pipes, vocals and some wonderful step dancing.

McNasty Brass BandMcNasty Brass Band is a collection of Minneapolis/Saint Paul based horn players and percussionists that fuse the Minneapolis sound with the spirit of New Orleans. The outcome of this fusion is hard-hitting dance music and high-energy live shows.

Copper Street Brass—The five members of Copper Street Brass have style, substance and a flair for innovation, which has allowed them to transcend the brass quintet box and evolve into something fresh. Copper Street Brass started in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 2007 and settled down in Minneapolis in 2008. The group’s new tour program, “The Evolution of the Brass Quintet,” features music from Mozart to Dave Brubeck to Adele. Its blend of musical styles and fusion of electronic effects and brass has wowed audiences in communities across the country. Last season the quintet performed for 4,300 students in 25 schools.

Brio BrassBrio Brass has delighted and entertained audiences throughout Minnesota’s Twin Cities
Metro area since 1999. Composed of more than 50 adult musicians, the group performs its own unique arrangements written specifically for its members. The ensemble’s large repertoire features a broad spectrum of musical styles. Audiences are entertained with fluid ballads, pop of all eras, show tunes, funky rock and lots of jazz. Expect lots of humming, toe tapping and even dancing in the aisles!

Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble–Understanding that the trumpet holds a special place in the psyche of society, the Twin Cities Trumpet Ensemble seeks to enliven, entertain, and enrich the community through the highest level of professional performance prowess and the presentation of music of
quality and stylistic and temperamental diversity. It exemplifies the transformative power of music through the performance of music written or arranged for three or more trumpets. The ensemble has performed numerous concerts in the tri-state area, including performances at Lake Como Pavilion and several churches.

Sheldon Theatre Brass Band–The Sheldon Theatre Brass Band was founded in 1989 as the resident performing ensemble at the newly restored turn-of- the-century T. B. Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing. The band is made up of cornets, trombones, tenor horns, euphoniums, tubas and percussion. In addition to its regular performances at the Sheldon Theatre, the band performs at a variety of venues throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin, and it has performed at many brass band festivals throughout the United States including NABBA Great American Brass Band Festival.

Bavarian Musikmeisters–Members of the Bavarian Musikmeisters hail from the Twin Cities and model themselves after traditional German village bands, lederhosen and all. The band’s 35 musicians perform authentic musical arrangements on a variety of brass and woodwind instruments: flute, clarinet, trumpet, flugelhorn, tenor horn, baritone, trombone, tuba and percussion. They perform for numerous events in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and have performed at Germanic festivals in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota, as well as at the German-American Mardi Gras Association annual meeting in Las Vegas.

The Whistlin’ Dixies–This Twin Cities-based group prides itself on its versatility. The Whistlin’ Dixies has a core group of four fun and funky musicians and adds up to ten others to play a variety of genres, ranging from Motown classics to vintage jazz and swing to rock n’ roll. The band often performs for weddings, parties and corporate events.

New Prague Community Band–The New Prague Area Community Band consists of community members ranging from teenagers to retirees. It plays a diverse selection of band repertoire, striving to entertain all sorts of audiences. Band  members are an energetic group who believe that music is fun; they try to show that in their attitudes and in the songs they play at local events and area celebrations throughout the year.

The venue for the series of outdoor concerts on July 29 will be Bridge Square in Downtown Northfield, Minnesota along the banks of the wild and scenic Cannon River. The show will run from 10am-10pm and feature a variety of Minnesota music ensembles playing 45 or 90 minute sets. Vintage Band Festival will run concurrently with Riverwalk Market Fair, an open-air arts and food market, and will also have a variety of food concessions. Festival goers should bring chairs or blankets and plan to spend the day.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

Vintage Band Festival Announces Grant Award from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council

May 22, 2017

For Immediate Release

Vintage Band Festival Announces Grant Award from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council

Northfield, Minnesota—Vintage Band Festival is pleased to announce that it has received a $3,000 grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) in support of one of the performing bands at this summer’s one-day festival on July 29. The award also covers expenses for sound production at the event. SEMAC has been a strong supporter and advocate for Vintage Band Festival since the festival was launched in 2006 and this recent grant continues that tradition.

Vintage Band Festival was founded in 2006 by Dr. Paul Niemisto, at the time a faculty member of the St. Olaf College Music Department. The inspiration for staging a series of brass and wind band concerts simultaneously at multiple outdoor venues in Northfield, Minnesota came from observing similar events while visiting small towns in Germany and Austria. The local community responded enthusiastically to the idea and Vintage Band Festival is now a thriving and beloved ongoing enterprise in Northfield. Four-day festivals have been held in 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2016. Recently, a variation on the concept was created and now one-day summer events are staged during the intervals between the grand four-day events. The next one-day Vintage Band Festival will be held July 29, 2017.

Spaghetti Dinner to Benefit Vintage Band Festival

April 1, 2017

For Immediate Release

Northfield, Minnesota—The Northfield Eagles Club will be hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner as a fundraiser for Vintage Band Festival 2017. The event will take place, Saturday, April 22, 2017 from 5:00pm – 7:30 pm at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club, 304 Water Street South, Northfield. Dinner will consist of spaghetti with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, salad and sliced bread. Cash bar will be available and live music will be presented throughout the evening, beginning at 5:30.

Tickets for the Vintage Band Festival spaghetti benefit dinner are available in advance at Coldwell Banker South Metro Office, 419 Division Street South, Northfield. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event. All proceeds from the event will benefit Vintage Band Festival.

Vintage Band Festival 2017 will take place in Northfield July 29, 2017. Music will run from 10am-10pm in Bridge Square. Details of the 2017 festival can be found at www.vintagebandfestival.org.

The Cowboy Band Returns!!

For Immediate Release

November 4, 2016

mtcowboyband(Northfield, MN)– In 1912, a cowboy band and a group of Blackfeet Indians from newly developed Glacier National Park traveled to expositions in Minneapolis and Chicago to promote the state of Montana. Hired by Great Northern Railway President Louis W. Hill, the son of James J. Hill, the musical ensemble included a cornet soloist named G. Oliver Riggs.

Award-winning freelance journalist Joy Riggs, the great-granddaughter of G. Oliver Riggs, will tell the story of this unusual adventure in an engaging presentation on Monday, November 14. Joy will speak at 3:30 p.m. at the Northfield Retirement Center Chapel, 900 Cannon Valley Drive West, and again at 7 p.m. at the Northfield Senior Center, 1651 Jefferson Parkway. This Vintage Band Festival educational event is free and open to the public.

Joy is writing a book of memoir and history about the extraordinary exploits of her paternal great-grandfather, a pioneering Minnesota band director. She received a 2015 emerging artist grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), and she serves on the board of the Vintage Band Festival. She blogs about her book project and her family’s adventures in making and appreciating music at mymusicalfamily.blogspot.com. Joy grew up in Alexandria, Minn., and has lived in Northfield for the past 18 years with her husband and their three children.

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

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Vintage Band Festival 2016 Features Music and Good Stories

July 11, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Vintage Band Festival 2016 Features Music and Good Stories

Artistic Director: Paul Niemisto, vintagebandfestival@gmail.com; 612-308-6857

Media Contact: Dan Bergeson, bergeson@northfieldwifi.com; 507-581-0553

Northfield, MN —Vintage Band Festival 2016, July 28-31 in Northfield, MN, will feature four days of non-stop brass and wind band music, but it will also be an occasion to witness historic achievements, meet internationally renowned artists and interact with hundreds of musicians and their families. Read on to learn about two of the highlights of this year’s festival.

Friedemann Immer, Master Trumpeter

Freidemann ImmerFriedemann Immer will be a special guest trumpet soloist at Vintage Band Festival 2016, joining the Kentucky Baroque Trumpets under the direction of Don Johnson.

Friedemann Immer, born 1948 in Duisburg, Germany, is one of the best known Trumpeters in the musical world. Early in his career he specialized in the playing of the Baroque Trumpet and played with orchestras such as Concentus Musicus Vienna, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music Berlin, Musica Antiqua Cologne, la Stagione Frankfurt, Academy of Ancient Music London, Boston Baroque and Aston Magna USA . He has worked with conductors Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Frans Brüggen, Thomas Hengelbrock, Ton Koopman, Philippe Herreweghe, Marcus Creed, Martin Pearlman, Ivor Bolton, Christopher Hogwood and Hellmuth Rilling. Immer has made over 200 recordings and appeared many times on radio and television. This includes more than 10 recordings of J.S.Bach´s second Brandenburg Concerto on period instruments.

Friedemann Immer was invited – as a soloist and with his “Trompeten Consort Friedemann Immer” –  to the Historic Brass Symposium in Amherst, Massachusetts (1995) and New York City (2013) and to several International Trumpet Guild Conferences, the last one in 2014 in Valley Forge/King of Prussia, Pennsylvania. This is his first visit to the Vintage Band Festival.

Friedemann Immer is Professor for Baroque Trumpet at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Cologne, Germany, and at the Royal Music-Academy in Copenhagen, Denmark. He taught 20 years at the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam. In addition to these activities he continues to give master classes all over the world.

For more information about Friedemann Immer or to schedule an interview, contact Don Johnson

kybaroquetrumpets@windstream.net, phone 270-699-5764.


 

Vintage tuba found in Northfield, MN antique shop is now restored

1st brigade tuba before restoration

 

Three years of work and the Northfield tuba mentioned in the article “Trash to Treasure” (Northfield News, 8/5/13) has come back to 1st Brigade Band to begin a new life in 2016! Nancy Campbell-Pierce has done a wonderful job restoring this irreplaceable part of history.
This horn was spotted in a Division Street shop window in by Doug Condon and Elsa Condon, members of 1st Brigade Band of Watertown, Wisconsin, while in Northfield, MInnesota for Vintage Band Festival 2013. The two talked with the shop owner, Devin Johnson. Mr. Johnson had found this piece of musical history in a Twin Cities scrap yard about to be melted down. The shop owner purchased the scrap and was going to make jewelry out of the parts.
1st Brigade tuba after restoration

 

Doug and Elsa Condon saw the importance of the instrument and with impeccable timing, persuaded Bandmaster Jon Condon and the instrument curator of the band, Dan Woolpert, to negotiate the preservation of the instrument with the shop owner. 1st Brigade Band will have this instrument in playing condition for their return trip to Northfield for Vintage Band Festival 2016, July 28-31.

For more information about this amazing instrumental transformation or to interview the musicians involved in the process, please contact Doug Condon manager@1stbrigadeband.org, phone 920-342-6361.

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

VBF Celebrates 10 years: 2006-2016

VBF 2016 Cloisonné pin

For Immediate Release

July 1, 2016

Vintage Band Festival Celebrates 10 Years: July 28-31, 2016

Artistic Director: Paul Niemisto, vintagebandfestival@gmail.com; 612-308-6857

Media Contact: Dan Bergeson, bergeson@northfieldwifi.com; 507-581-0553

(Northfield, MN) – Northfield, located in southern Minnesota — known for its appreciation of music and history — has become a travel destination within the Midwest sought out for its authentic experience. The Vintage Band Festival, to be held July 28-31, will be the highlight of the summer as it welcomes re-enactment bands from across the US and abroad to “dust off their horns and old sheet music” and bring music to life — in all of its glory — from days gone by.

The international festival boasts 100 concerts at outdoor parks, performance stages, dining establishments and pubs in the picturesque river town of Northfield and at a multitude of festival concert sites in nearby communities. Find a full schedule of “living history” performances, auxiliary events and attractions, plus a sample travel itinerary for discovering more treasures in southern Minnesota, at www.vintagebandfestival.org.

Amid the vast collection of performing bands that accentuate cultural influences, genres and period-inspired repertoires several Midwest historic revival bands are participating in this year’s Festival. Today’s audience can hear what Presidents Lincoln and Davis, Generals Lee and Grant, and their contemporaries heard in their

The 1st Brigade Band, from Watertown, Wisconsin, dressed in navy blue uniforms takes as its inspiration the  eighteen men from the Brodhead Brass Band who enlisted in the Union Army in 1864 as the Band of the 1st Brigade, 3rd Division, 15th U.S. Army Corps. They served under the command of General William T. Sherman. After locating and restoring dented and broken instruments and reconstructing torn music sheets, the 1st Brigade Band continues this musical legacy from 150 years ago. This will be the third time this band has performed at the Vintage Band Festival.

Another ensemble which will relive music of the 19th Century is the Independent Silver Band (ISB) of Mount Vernon, Illinois. Back in its heyday, the community enjoyed “first class entertainment and boundless enjoyment” as the ISB played for “balls, picnics, parties, political rallies, and more.” By bringing together interested brass players and percussionists from Mt. Vernon and surrounding cities and towns in southern Illinois, William L. Reynolds created a proper team of dedicated persons who could provide the chance to hear the music of a bygone time. With their very stylish green uniforms, unique helmets, and a complete “show” with narration, they will be coming to Northfield to entertain for a second time.

19th century brass bands have been described as having sweet and mellow intonations, but to have survived and flourished in a time of great conflict within our country, the music served a broader, brasher purpose that uplifted the morale of its people during an era of clashing dissonance. This unforgettable time would become a defining part of our national heritage and have a pronounced and resounding effect on the history of music in America today.

2016 is also within the centennial period of World War I and some bands will honor this history and present an additional focus for the Festival.  A highlight will be an outdoor Victory Dance with the Buddy Koopmans Swing Orchestra on Saturday night.

While the bands will perform individual concerts on all of the Festival days, on Saturday, July 30th, the Battle of the Bands takes place at noon on the Riverfront. Many community bands from all over Minnesota will also be included in the schedule each day. Evening entertainment will include appearances by Copper Street Brass, Jack Brass Band and Banda La Verdadera, all well-known professional ensembles from the metropolitan Minneapolis/St. Paul area.

Brass bands have been important in Minnesota since the 1850s. The Great Western Band was active as early as 1858. The St. Anthony Brass Band played for the grand opening of the suspension bridge over the Mississippi in St. Anthony in 1863. In 1861, the Red Wing brass band played as they sent Civil War volunteers to Fort Snelling. When the soldiers returned after the war, they were greeted by the Great Western Band at the St. Paul Train Station. A group from the Vintage Band Festival, The Manitou Regimental Band, played in 2015 for a reenactment of the return of Minnesota troops from the Civil War arriving on a paddle wheeler at Fort Snelling.

For more information on how the pages of history turn as the musical faintness has been captured in the wafts of distant winds and brought into the present, visit the Vintage Band website at www.vintagebandfestival.org. The 2016 band roster and complete schedule of events is located there. Find Vintage Band Festival on Facebook at “Vintage Band Festival” and Twitter at @vintagebandfest.

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.

VBF Spring 2016 Fund Appeal

The following letter was recently sent to the Vintage Band Festival donor base. Since many website visitors are not yet donors, the letter is reprinted here for their information.

VBF 2016 Pin.3MidnightBlue

May 2, 2016

Dear friends,

The tenth anniversary four-day Vintage Band Festival happens July 28-31—just three months away.  The band roster and the performance schedule have been finalized. There will be 31 bands and about 100 concerts.  Our last four-day festival, in 2013, attracted 15,000 attendees, and the diversity of bands and music repertoires was amazing—the festival has become a major event in this region and nationally.

The lion’s share of the approximately $100,000 in funding for the festival comes from hundreds of gifts by local individuals, an astonishing example of cross-community collaboration.  In addition to making cash gifts, Northfielders host band members in their homes, set up and take down at performances, and give hours of their time locating resources beyond cash so that the whole project can come to pass.

I’m writing to ask you to make a gift in support of this summer’s four-day Vintage Band Festival.  Gifts of any size are deeply appreciated, but here are two ways to support the festival that link to specific needs at the core of our costs:

  • We house visiting bands that travel long distances to Northfield in Carleton College facilities at our expense.  Since several of the bands will stay 3-4 nights this summer we will need to fund approximately 300 nights at $35/night.  A gift to fund five nights would be $175; ten nights $350, and so on.
  • The largest part of our budget is the fees we pay to get some of the best and most unusual bands to come to the festival.  Some nearby Minnesota bands do not charge us a fee but we will be paying 20 bands a total of $33,750 for this summer’s festival.  A gift of any amount will help with these costs, but for a gift of $1,000 we would designate you in our publicity as the sponsor of a specific band.

Checks can be made out to Vintage Band Festival at 204 W. 7th St. #130, Northfield, MN 55057.  Credit card donations can be made by clicking the big green “DONATE” button on our website www.vintagebandfestival.org. Thank you most warmly for your consideration of this request.  Let the music begin!

Sincerely,

Janet Gettings Stevens, President                                                                     Paul Niemisto

Vintage Band Festival Board of Directors                                                        Artistic Director

Vintage Band Festival: Ten Years of Music and Memories

VBF Presents NiemistoVintage Band Festival will present its latest Enrichment Series installment twice on Monday, May 9, 2016. The program will be given first at the Northfield Retirement Community Chapel (900 Cannon Valley Drive West) beginning at 3:45pm. The Northfield Senior Center (1651 Jefferson Parkway) will host the second presentation at 7pm.

The featured guest will be Dr. Paul Niemisto speaking on the topic “Vintage Band Festival: Ten Years of Music and Memories.” Dr. Niemisto will address such questions as “What is a Vintage Band?” “How do we locate and select the vintage bands that play at the festival?” “What can listeners look forward to at the 2016 Vintage Band Festival?” Niemisto will also perform a demonstration on the helicon, a low brass instrument that is a precursor to the modern-day Sousaphone. He will have three helicons from his personal collection on display at the event.

Vintage Band Festival 2016 will take place in Northfield July 28-31, 2016. 30 bands will play over 100 concerts in Northfield and surrounding communities during the 4-day festival. 2016 is the 10-year anniversary of Vintage Band Festival. Details of the 2016 festival can be found at www.vintagebandfestival.org.

 

 

This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the

SoutheasternMinnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and

cultural heritage fund.

Mn Legacy logo

Spaghetti Dinner to Benefit Vintage Band Festival

April 12, 2016

For Immediate Release

Northfield, Minnesota—The Northfield Eagles Club will be hosting a benefit spaghetti dinner 2016 VBF Poster Spaghetti Dinner Spaghetti dinner posteras a fundraiser for Vintage Band Festival 2016. The event will take place, Saturday, April 23, 2016 from 5:30pm – 7:00 pm at the Fraternal Order of the Eagles Club, 304 Water Street South, Northfield. Dinner will consist of spaghetti with marinara sauce and parmesan cheese, salad and sliced bread. Cash bar will be available. Local area scouts will be serving the dinner.

Live music will be presented throughout the evening. There will be three ensembles playing for the dinner guests: student musicians from St. Olaf College at 5:30, Bridge Square Band at 6:00 and an ensemble of student musicians from Northfield High School at 6:30.

Tickets for the Vintage Band Festival spaghetti benefit dinner are available in advance at Coldwell Banker South Metro Office, 419 Division Street South, Northfield. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children. Tickets may also be purchased at the door the night of the event. All proceeds from the event will benefit Vintage Band Festival.

Vintage Band Festival 2016 will take place in Northfield July 28-31, 2016. 30 bands will play over 100 concerts in Northfield and surrounding communities during the 4-day festival. 2016 is the 10-year anniversary of Vintage Band Festival. Details of the 2016 festival can be found at www.vintagebandfestival.org.