The musicians of Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band are dedicated professional and semi-professional brass, reed, and percussion players whose performance is as close to that of a late 19th-century professional touring band as is possible today. Like bands from that era, the group ranges from six players to a full ensemble of 30. It usually tours with 17 reed, brass and percussion players. The band plays only music that would have been heard between the end of the Civil War and the advent of the Sousa Band in 1892, primarily dance music. Concerts feature the most popular examples of polkas, waltzes, quicksteps, schottisches and mazurkas, as well as the march. The band is conducted by Elisa Koehler and managed by Michael O’Connor. Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band will be playing on the Way Park Stage at 1pm on August 2 and on the Bridge Square Main Stage at 5pm on August 3.
Most of the performances at Vintage Band Festival 2019 take place in Northfield, Minnesota. However, on Thursday, August 1, the first day of the festival, some VBF bands will be appearing in other communities to share the spirit and the music with a regional audience. All of these concerts will be free and open to the public. Tell your friends!
Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band
August 1, 7pm, First Lutheran Church, 615 W. 5th St.
Original Drachenfelser Musikanten
August 1, 7pm, Memorial Park
À Râse dè têre
August 1, 7pm Grace Lutheran Church, 301 1st St. S.
August 1, 7pm , Central Park
Kentucky Baroque Trumpets
August 1, 7pm St. Ansgar’s Lutheran Church, 7459 Hwy19 Blvd
Three Links Care Center in Northfield is celebrating its 120th anniversary in 2019. Vintage Band Festival is pleased to welcome Three Links as a Stage Sponsor of this year’s festival.
Three Links Care Center’s heritage began in 1899 as a home for orphans and elderly known as the Minnesota Odd Fellows Home. Throughout its 120-year history, Three Links has continually evolved to serve the changing health care needs of the Northfield, Minnesota area community. Today, the continuum of care and services is located on three campuses: the Three Links Campus and Millstream Commons Assisted Living in Northfield and the Villages of Lonsdale in Lonsdale.
As a nonprofit, Three Link’s services and living options include adult day services, home care, independent senior living apartments, assisted living, transitional care, skilled nursing care center, memory care, end-of-life care suites and more. These services are framed around the mission of Three Links—to create peace of mind for those they serve. Three Link’s commitment to honoring individuals through their life journey is evident in their core values of community, accountability, respect and empathy.
FinnBrass is a “project ensemble” that was formed to do tours and performances. They are made up of players from two communities in Finland, Kokkola and Kronoby. They specialize in performing traditional Finnish brass music from earlier decades. They represent a wide range of professions (from education, to medicine, to technology and engineering). Their instrumentation is based on the traditional village brass band of the 1800s. This is FinnBrass’s first appearance at Vintage Band Festival.
Coming from Germany is Original Drachenfelser Musikanten, a folk music brass band reflecting the Rhineland tradition of the Drachenfels Mountains. Masters of polka, the band features a tenor horn, trumpet, tuba and accordion. Their leader, tuba player Erhard Schwarz, was at the VBF for the first time in 2006 and is a noted specialist on such exotic instruments as the ophicleide and helicon. Drachenfelser have been regular participants in the Vintage Band Festival in recent years and have a dedicated fan club among the locals of German and Czech traditions. Original Drachenfelser Musikanten has previously played at Vintage Band Festival in 2010, 2013 and 2016.
Do you like brass band music? Do you like people? Answer yes to those questions and you may wish to volunteer to help us with Vintage Band Festival 2019. We’ll be presenting music all over Northfield, Minnesota from Thursday, August 1 to Sunday, August 4 and we would love it if you would join us in this great adventure!
We need stage hands, audience greeters, information tent staffers, equipment minders, shuttle drivers, band hosts, concert emcees, and more. Both of the outdoor stages need folks to open up the venues in the morning and close them down in the evening.
If this sounds like fun to you, click on this link to sign up now!
It’s time to start highlighting the amazing roster of bands for 2019. We’ll begin with an international ensemble from Belgium: À Râse dè têre.
À Râse dè têre (literally meaning “at ground level” in Walloon language) was created in 2005. They play dance tunes called “arguèdènes” in the Walloon dialect spoken in southern Belgium. Traditionally, the melody line is orally transmitted and the accompaniment is improvised. A flugelhorn, cornet, euphonium, and helicon form a balanced ensemble that is well suited to this musical genre in vogue from the mid-19th century until the turn of the 20th century. The group is composed of four passionate amateur brass musicians: a museum curator, a psychologist, a postman and a police officer. They received their initial musical training in Belgian village bands before improving their skills in music academies or conservatories. They learned numerous “arguèdenes” on the job when they were young bandsmen, alongside older musicians. They want to perpetuate this rustic and old-fashioned music and thus prove that it can also be charming and full of subtleties. The band leader is Géry Dumoulin. This is the first time that À Râse dè têre has performed at Vintage Band Festival.
Vintage Band Festival Headquarters is now open for business at 19 Bridge Square in the Northfield Office of Business and Tourism. Hours of service will be 1pm-5pm Monday-Friday. The phone number is 507-581-2360. Our email address is email@example.com
The office will be staffed by two student interns from St. Olaf College: Mickaylie Bade and Landry Forrest. Mickaylie is a rising senior English major with a concentration in Women’s and Gender Studies and Landry is a rising sophomore with the goal of a Bachelor of Arts in Music and Arts Organization Management.
Find souvenirs, get information, make a donation, stop by to say hello!
What is Vintage Band Festival?
Vintage Band Festival (VBF) is designed to celebrate the beautiful downtown of Northfield, Minnesota as an outdoor music performance venue and an attractive destination for local music and history lovers, as well as for tourists from all over the United States.
VBF strives to create a high quality music listening experience that will satisfy and be memorable; to cultivate the historical theme of our city through emphasis on historical music, dress, dance, and ambience; and to use the entire city as an outdoor performance venue, including parks, retirement centers, as well as Division St areas, and churches.
VBF engages the cooperation of many interested local organizations, institutions and businesses in a united effort to accomplish a great cultural event and to reach audiences of all ages and backgrounds with a wide variety of performances.
VBF has become a destination for nationally and internationally known wind bands as well as for regional and statewide groups.
Background and History
The “Vintage Band Music Festival” was founded in Northfield in July 2006. The motivation for this new festival stemmed from often-expressed general feeling among Northfield arts supporters that the city is a ready-made outdoor performance venue waiting to host a significant event. VBF was an idea developed by Artistic Director Paul Niemisto, inspired by his previous experiences with similar festivals such as The Kaustinen Folk Music Festival in western Finland, the Lieksa International Brass Week, held annually in eastern Finland in late July, and the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Kentucky, the only other event of its kind in the U.S.
Another motivator for 2006 Festival came from having the International Society for the Promotion and Research of Wind Music, (International Gesellschaft zur Erforschung und Förderung der Blasmusik) and the Historic Brass Society hold their joint academic conference concurrent with the VBF event. The idea of a “major music festival” and “a major international music conference” taking place in Northfield began to develop in 2002, and the resulting synergy allowed for a successful outcome for both events. The academic conference, while not essential to the VBF festival, did lend the whole event an importance that was significant for the inaugural event. The Historic Brass Society returns for each large conference. (http://www.historicbrass.org/)
The models and subsequent plans for the first VBF 2006 created a success far beyond expectations. 50 musical performances were presented in 2006 by 20 ensembles over four days. Additional festivals have taken place in 2010 (4 days), 2013 (4 days), 2014 (1 day), 2015 (1 day), 2016 (4 days), 2017 (1 day), and 2018 (1 day). Recent multi-day events now have 35 or more bands and present more than 100 performances in the Northfield/Dundas area and surrounding communities.
Today Vintage Band Festival has an international reputation and enjoys a treasured place in the cultural life of southern Minnesota. VBF 2019 will take place August 1-4, 2019.
On May 21, 2019, the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC) awarded 42 grants for a total of $269,205 in funding to applicants throughout southeastern Minnesota. This included 24 Arts & Cultural Heritage grants for $217,935, nine Presenter/Production Assistance grants for $25,520, and nine Small Towns/Rural Areas grants for $25,750.
In this grant cycle, Vintage Band Festival received a $10,000 Arts and Cultural Heritage grant for Vintage Band Festival 2019. We are thrilled to make this announcement and want to thank our grant writer, Board member Joy Riggs. This is not the first successful grant application that Joy has written for us and we are so grateful for her skill and dedication to this effort. Previous grants awarded to Vintage Band Festival 2019 were from the Wenger Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board.
Vintage Band Festival 2019 will take place in Northfield, Minnesota and surrounding communities August 1-4, 2019. Follow this link to find the complete daily schedule at the two outdoor stages and a roster of the participating bands.
It’s time for our annual spring fund drive here at Vintage Band Festival. The generous and loyal financial support from businesses, foundations and individuals like you continues to make it possible for us to present such amazing musicians and ensembles and not charge admission. We are fortunate to have the Wenger Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board as our principal funders, but their support accounts for just 40% of our $100,000 budget for 2019. The rest will need to come from other grants, and businesses and individuals such as you.
We are incredibly excited for Vintage Band Festival 2019. The roster we have assembled consists of three international groups, seven domestic ensembles from outside Minnesota and an amazing array of Minnesota bands from around the state. This year there will be 11 bands that have never performed at Vintage Band Festival before, two of which are from Europe.
Thursday evening, August 1, the headliners will be Mariachi Mi Tierra and McNasty Brass Band. Friday night we welcome back Copper Street Brass and then we’ll have a victory dance with Bend in the River Big Band. Saturday night will feature Southside Aces and Hornucopia: A Tribute to Horn Bands in the Rock Era.
There will be a number of living history bands with us this year, some that are familiar and several that are new. We will have the 1st Brigade Band from Watertown, Wisconsin, Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band, and the Independent Silver Band from Mount Vernon, Illinois. New to Vintage Band Festival in 2019 will be the 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band, Arizona’s Territorial Brass and the Imperial Cornet Band from Baltimore, Maryland.
Check the VBF website often for the complete schedule and breaking news.
The goal for our 2019 spring fund drive is $20,000. Currently, we have raised $9,650. If you have recently made a gift to Vintage Band Festival, our sincere thanks! If it’s been awhile, won’t you please consider a gift at this time? A successful spring fund drive outcome is essential to the success of our summer festival. A gift in any amount is always welcome, but gifts of $100 or more are critically important right now. Donors are featured prominently in the festival program and onsite at the Bridge Square Main Stage. In addition, we will be hosting an exclusive donor reception in July, just before the festival begins.
If you are donating by check, send your gift to:
Vintage Band Festival
204 7th St W #130
Northfield, MN 55057
If you want to make your gift with a credit card, go to www.vintagebandfestival.org and click on the big green “Donate” button.