Give to the Max Day Nov. 15

Vintage Band Festival is participating in Give to the Max Day (GTMD18) as part of the VBF fall fund drive. GTMD18 will take place November 15 from 12 am-11:59:59 pm. One of the benefits for donors who make gifts during GTMD18 is the chance to be winners in drawings for prizes. If you are selected, you can name the organization that will receive your prize. Prizes range from $500 to $10,000! We hope that you would choose Vintage Band Festival as the beneficiary of your good fortune!

Here is a list of the prize drawings on GTMD18:

  • $500 Golden Tickets every 10 minutes
  • $10,000 Power Hours at 10am and 10 pm
  • $1,000 Hourly Golden Tickets
  • $500 Early Giving Golden Tickets (1 each day between November 1-15
  • $10,000 Super-sized Golden Ticket (drawn from all early giving donations)

How to donate to Vintage Band Festival during GTMD18:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on the green “Donate Now” button
  3. Do a search for “Vintage Band Festival”
  4. Click on the green “Donate” button
  5. Choose your suggested giving level (or click custom for the amount you’d like to give)
  6. Enter your credit card information
  7. Accept our thanks!

The goal for the VBF fall fund drive (through December 31, 2018) is $10,000. As of today, we have raised 40% of that amount. Give to the Max Day would be an excellent time for our friends to help us make significant progress toward reaching our goal.

You can donate anytime between today and 11:59:59 pm on November 15, 2018. Please the hashtag #GTMD18 when you share any news about Vintage Band Festival on social media.

Join the Fall Fund Drive for Vintage Band Festival!

Mariachi Mi Tierra (Vintage Band Festival 2018; photo credit John Severson)


On October 19, Vintage Band Festival launched a fall fund appeal in an effort to close the gap between existing funds and the amount needed to finance the next 4-day Vintage Band Festival in 2019.

In her letter to VBF friends and donors, the chair of the Fundraising Committee, VBF Secretary Jan Stevens, said:

“We will be ending 2018 in a positive financial position, but we know what our future budgetary realities will be. It takes approximately $15,000 to stage a one-day event and it takes close to $100,000 to produce a four-day event. There are costs for stage rentals, sound equipment, lighting, advertising and many other expenses, but we don’t charge admission to our audience. Even with the generous corporate and foundation grants that we receive, we still need support from individuals like you to achieve our financial goals. We currently are about halfway toward our 2019 goal of $100,000. Please help us close the gap!

You may send a check in the enclosed envelope or if you prefer, you may use a credit card by visiting our website at and clicking on the green “Donate” button. Your contribution is 100% tax deductible.”

We are in the process of band selection for Vintage Band Festival 2019, but we’re being cautious because we don’t know exactly what we can afford yet. With your financial contribution, we’ll be that much closer to meeting our goal. Thank you!

Historic Fort Snelling Fifes and Drums (Vintage Band Festival 2017)

Tuba Christmas 2018 in Northfield: Save the Date!

Vintage Band Festival is presenting Tuba Christmas 2018 in Northfield, Minnesota on Saturday, December 1 at 3pm. The event will take place in Skinner Memorial Chapel, 405 1st St. E. on the campus of Carleton College. St. Olaf College professor Dr. Arthur Haecker with be the Guest Conductor for the afternoon. Vintage Band Festival Artistic Director Dr. Paul Niemisto will be the host.

Tuba Christmas is an event that brings together euphonium, baritone,Sousaphone and tuba players of all ages to play Christmas carols for the enjoyment of family, friends and the general public. The music made by dozens of low brass instruments playing as a choir is an experience not to be missed, either as a participant or as a listener.

Registration for participants in Northfield’s Tuba Christmas 2018 will open at noon on December 1. Registration fee is $10. There will be a rehearsal at 1pm and the performance will be at 3pm. Music played at Tuba Christmas will be from “Carols for a Merry Tuba Christmas” which will be available for purchase at registration or can be ordered in advance. Participants should bring a music stand. Details for the event can be found at .

Vintage Band Festival Receives MSAB Grant!

Vintage Band Festival recently learned that it is the recipient of a Minnesota State Arts Board (MSAB) Festival Support Grant for 2019. MSAB Festival Support grants help non-profit organizations such as Vintage Band Festival to engage Minnesotans in festivals that celebrate the arts, build community, and expose communities to diverse art forms including folk and traditional arts.

MSAB received 34 applications for the 2019 Festival Support Grant cycle and awarded funding to 15 of those applicants. Vintage Band Festival’s request for $29, 550 was one of the applications to be approved. According to Paul Niemisto, Artistic Director of Vintage Band Festival, “This grant award represents a third of the anticipated budget for Vintage Band Festival 2019. We are extremely grateful that the review committee of the Minnesota State Arts Board sees the value of our work in bringing a unique musical experience to our audiences. We will do everything we can to make the most productive use of this wonderful funding opportunity.“

Vintage Band Festival, now in its 12th season, annually presents an international celebration of brass and wind band music of many musical genres and ethnic, historical, and geographical origins. The 2019 edition of Vintage Band Festival will take place in Northfield, Minnesota and surrounding communities August 1-4, 2019. There will be 25 bands playing 100 concerts during the four days of the festival.

Most of the performances will be in Northfield, but there will be concerts in at least six other southern Minnesota communities. The Northfield performances will take place in Bridge Square, Odd Fellows Park, the Northfield Hospital, the Northfield Retirement Community, Three Links, most of the town’s churches, and several of Northfield’s pubs and brewery taprooms. Impromptu performances by participating musicians are likely to occur at any time on the street corners and parks of Downtown Northfield during the festival weekend.

Music lovers can get regular Vintage Band Festival updates by subscribing to Vintage Band Festival’s regular e-news offerings at and by following Vintage Band Festival on Facebook and Instagram.

VBF 2018 Band Profiles: Buddy Koopmans Orchestra; Twin Cities Brass Band; Metro Brass

Buddy Koopmans Orchestra

Buddy Koopmans Orchestra

Roger (Buddy) Koopmans of Faribault, Minn., organized the Buddy Koopmans Orchestra in 1948 when he was still in high school.Back then, young musicians dreamed of being part of a Big Band.He brought together up to 16 instrumentalists from the region (including Northfield resident Hartley Clark, then a Carleton Col­lege student) and arranged for 4-5 gigs each year.Recently Gary Anderson, a clarinetist who started playing in the Buddy Koop­mans Orchestra at age 13, bought the band from Roger.What do you get when you “buy a band.” Books of music, the classic Big Band fronts (music stands), and the right to use the name.Gary brings 16 musicians together, pulling from around the region including the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St.Paul.Fine musicians come together to perform just because they love playing this kind of music.

Buddy Koopmans Orchestra will be onstage at 8:30pm Saturday, July 28 at VBF 2018.


Twin Cities Brass Band

Twin Cities Brass Band

Twin Cities Brass Band aims to bring the grandeur and excellence of European-style brass bands to the heart of Minnesota. The band also strives to promote leadership and inspiration for younger generations and to enrich lives through music. Based in Bloomington, Minnesota, the band’s 25 members rehearse year-round and dedicate themselves to performing exciting and challenging literature at a high level. This is the band’s first appearance at the Vintage Band Festival. Its conductor is Adam Hille.

Twin Cities Brass Band will peform at 3:00pm on Saturday, July 28 at VBF 2018.


Metro Brass

Metro Brass

Metro Brass is a group of 11 amateur musicians from the Minneapolis-St. Paul area who have only played together for five years. They all play in other ensembles, but come together for the “Metro Brass Sound.” Metro Brass is led by Keith Thompson (trumpet). Recent performances include a concert with the St. Croix Valley Concert Band in Hudson, Wisconsin, and a concert for the opening of the Shell Lake Concert Band camp in Shell Lake, Wisconsin. This is the group’s first appearance at the Vintage Band Festival.

Metro Brass will play at VBF 2018 beginning at 5:00pm on Saturday, July 28 in Downtown Northfield, MN.

VBF 2018 Band Profiles: Copper Street Brass; Minnesota State Band; New Prague Community Band

Copper Street Brass

Copper Street Brass

Copper Street Brass (CSB) is the premier brass chamber ensemble in Minnesota and one of only a handful of self-sustaining brass groups in the country. The ensemble was founded in 2008 as a professionally trained classical chamber music ensemble (which means they perform without a conductor) with two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba. CSB presents exclusively its own music, which is an original blend of musical styles from Mozart to Madonna, in over 35 concerts and 80 outreach services each season.

The six core musicians of CSB, Allison Hall, Josh Cameron, Tim Bradley, Alex Wolff, Nick Adragna, and Reid Kennedy have a combined 11 professional music and education degrees and thousands of performances under their belts. These artists have performed with world-renowned classical ensembles like the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO, MN Opera and Malaysian Philharmonic, and also have the versatility to perform with jazz/blues groups such as Davina and the Vagabonds and Nooky Jones. They have recorded for Prince, Grammy-winner Big Walter Smith, and many other groups.

CSB has been heard by thousands of people outside of the Twin Cities area on local concert series performances, summer music festivals, performances with school bands, and collaborations with other local arts groups. Recent performance activities include concert tours throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, and New Mexico. CSB has captured its exclusive arrangements on five CDs.

Copper Street Brass will take the stage at VBF 2018 at 6:30pm in Bridge Square on July 28.


Minnesota State Band

Minnesota State Band

The Minnesota State Band, the official band of the State of Min­nesota and the only remaining state band in the United States, formed in 1898. Its history is closely tied to state military traditions, as well as a tradition of touring; since 1986 it has taken six international concert tours. While international travel is important, the band’s primary mission is to provide high-quality music to Minnesota residents. It operates as a non-profit organization with an all-volunteer membership. It will present a 120th anniversary concert this fall. The Minnesota State Band is conducted by Chuck Boody.

Minnesota State Band will play at 2:00pm on July 28 at VBF 2018 in Northfield.


New Prague Community Band

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 conductor of the New Prague Area Community Band is Rush Wagner.

New Prague Community Band will perform at 9:00am on July 28 in Northfield at VBF 2018.

VBF 2018 Band Profiles: Ameriikan Poijat and Brio Brass

Ameriikan Poijat

Ameriikan Poijat

The brass septet Ameriikan Poijat (Boys of America) appears at ethnic festivals, regional tours, and music conferences, presenting authentic social dance music and concert repertoire.The band is composed of Finnish-American musicians and teachers from Minnesota and Michigan, and its repertoire is derived directly from original hand manuscript sources found among Finn­ish bands and archives.

During the 1980s, group founder Paul Niemisto made contact with many Finn­ish brass players and discovered this relatively unknown musical tradition; he formed the group in 1990.Ameriikan Poijat has toured in Finland several times, most recently in 2013, and trav­eled widely in the United States and Canada.

Ameriikan Poijat will perform in Bridge Square at 1:00pm on July 28 at VBF 2018.


Brio Brass

Brio Brass

Brio 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! Brio Brass is led by Rick Rueckert.

Brio Brass will appear in Bridge Square at VBF 2018 on July 28 at 4:00pm.

VBF2018 Band Profile: 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, Minnesota.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.

Jim Kurschner was named Music Director of the Sheldon Theatre Brass Band in January 2002. Since 2001, he has been a member of the faculty at Normandale Community College in Bloomington, Minnesota, where he conducts the Concert Band and teaches courses in music fundamentals, music literature, jazz history, and chamber music.

The Sheldon Theatre Brass Band will perform at Vintage Band Festival 2018 at 11:00 am on July 28.

VBF 2018 Band Profile: Mariachi Mi Tierra

Mariachi Mi Tierra is the oldest Mariachi ensemble in the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area. Rosalio Castro (trumpet),who formed the group in 2003, has been playing various Mexican styles of music since he was in his teens. Eduardo Castro (also trumpet) is the group’s director.

Finally it is possible to bring together a group that could produce the full sound of authentic mariachi. The members of Mariachi Mi Tierra have brought a great number of regional and current favorites into the group’s repertoire. In addition to events in the local Mexican community, “Mariachi Mi Tierra” also plays at schools, colleges, businesses, casinos, and festivals. Mariachi Mi Tierra has played previously at Vintage Band Festival in 2014 and 2015.

Mariachi Mi Tierra will perform at 10:00am on July 28 at Vintage Band Festival 2018.

VBF 2018 Band Profile: Southside Aces

Southside Aces perform traditional New Orleans jazz. The band first began as the brainchild of Clarinetist Tony Balluff and Sousaphone player Erik Jacobson. Their whispers and rumors materialized in Tony’s foyer near Pillsbury and 27th in South Minneapolis, late August 2003. Since their first gig on a flatbed truck in Apple Valley, they’ve played weddings, festivals, clubs— “music furnished for all occasions”. The Aces self-produced and released five albums : All Aboard!! , Bucktown BounceA Big Fine Thing, their Christmas album, Santaphone, and their latest, Second Thursday. Their music garnered the declaration, “A true authentic New Orleans dance-hall style band” from the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Quarterly.

In New Orleans, the jazz tradition thrives off a wide array of tunes and styles. With such a wealth of good music from which to draw, the group is dedicated to highlighting the songs and not the players. They possess a diverse repertoire, with a roll call that includes the names of Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, Hoagy Carmichael, Duke Ellington and Bix Beiderbecke. Many songs from lesser-known constellations in the jazz firmament such as AJ Piron and Tiny Parham found their way in there, plus Crescent City classics like Bourbon Street Parade, Just A Closer Walk With Thee and St. James Infirmary. Finally, lets not forget the funky rhythms of brass band powerhouses like Mardi Gras In New Orleans and Palm Court Strut. Songs as good as these don’t need a lot of help!

The Southside Aces have performed at the Times and the Dakota jazz clubs, Peavey Plaza, Mears Park, Twin Cities Jazz Fest, Hopkins Jazz Festival, and the Doc Evans Jazz Festival. They have driven dancers to a frenzy at national lindy hop competitions: “Showdown”, in Minneapolis; “Big Apple” and “Cowtown Jamborama” in Omaha. We have Balboa covered as well: “Rocky Mountain Balboa Blowout” and “Minnesota Balboa Fest.” All of which, if you’re keeping score, makes us a “territory band”. Found at weddings, birthdays, banquets and memorials, the Aces utilize the traditional cannon for its sweetness, its spice, its joy, its sorrow; whatever the mood should call for. They’ll even take requests.

Southside Aces will take the stage at 12:00pm on Saturday, July 28 at Vintage Band Festival 2018.