Author Archives: Paul Niemisto

Northfield Shares recognizes Vintage Band Festival volunteers

April was National Volunteer Month. Throughout the month the Northfield News and Northfield Shares, an advocate of volunteer activism, highlighted several local organizations and individuals in a series of social media posts and newspaper stories. One of the organizations they chose to feature was Vintage Band Festival. During the 16 years that VBF has been in operation, all of the work done to present live band music in dozens of Northfield locations has been performed by volunteers. From the 12-member working Board of Directors to the homestay host families to the majority of the musicians, the volunteer ethic is alive and well. Thanks to all of our volunteers! Read about all of the volunteers honored on the Northfield Shares website.

If you’d like to volunteer to help with VBF 2022, check the VBF website later this month to learn what tasks need doing and when.

Dan Bergeson, Randy Ferguson, Jan Stevens at a recent VBF Board meeting

VBF 2020 is cancelled

 

The Vintage Band Festival Board of Directors regrets to announce that it has cancelled the planned one-day mini-festival scheduled for August 1, 2020. Although the 5/13/20 guidance from the State of Minnesota eased some restrictions for Minnesota businesses and social interactions, the guidelines regarding physical interactions are limited to no more than 10 people at any single gathering and there is still a ban on outdoor sporting events and concerts. Many Minnesota summer festivals and events have already been cancelled and no doubt the list of cancellations will continue to grow.

We owe it to the health and well-being of our musicians, our audience and our volunteers to stand down from our plans for the summer of 2020 and instead begin plans for getting together again on July 31, 2021 to celebrate wind and brass band music in an outdoor setting. Thanks to all of our fans, donors and musicians for their unending support over the past 15 years. Watch for news and updates on the Vintage Band Festival Facebook page and at www.vintagebandfestival.org.

#StaySafeMN

Vintage Band Festival Annual Meeting Feb. 10

The Vintage Band Festival Board of Directors will hold the organization’s annual meeting on Monday, February 10 at noon at the First United Church of Christ in Northfield, MN. The main order of business will be the election of officers for 2020. The following persons have volunteered to serve as officers and will be nominated at the meeting:

President–Dan Bergeson
Vice-President–Randy Ferguson
Secretary–Joy Riggs
Treasurer–Mary Rosenberg

The meeting is free and open to the public. All are welcome.

VBF 2019 USA Bands: Territorial Brass: Arizona’s Official Historical Brass Band

Territorial Brass was formed in February 1987 and was quickly recognized by museums across Arizona as an entertaining living history resource. Dressed in turn-of-the-century costumes, Territorial Brass captures the golden age of the American town band. This twelve-member ensemble specializes in 19th century American brass band music, playing authentic arrangements from 1835, through the Civil War, to Arizona’s year of statehood. It is the goal of Territorial Brass to replicate the brass bands that were active in Arizona and New Mexico during the territorial period. This is the first time that Territorial Brass has performed at Vintage Band Festival.

Territorial Brass

VBF 2019 USA Bands: Imperial Cornet Band

Photo credit: Rob Mesite Photography

The Imperial Cornet Band performs music of the World War I era. Music by Sousa, George M. Cohan, W.C. Handy, Irving Berlin is featured along with selections written and performed by James Reese Europe of the famous 369th Infantry Division, the “Harlem Hellfighters” Regiment. Their programs give audiences a chance to hear what this music sounded like performed by a small band and gain insight on how music was used to further the war effort at home and on the battlefield.

The Imperial Cornet Band performs under the auspices of the Maryland Military Band and is conducted by Jari Villanueva. Mr. Villanueva and several other musicians in the band have played at Vintage Band Festival in the past as members of the Federal City Brass Band or the 26th North Carolina Regimental Band.

Mark your calendars so you can stop by and say hello and hear their concerts of WWI era music!

Thursday August 1 at 8 PM Reunion Restaurant, 501 Division St S, Northfield, MN 55057

-Friday August 2 at 10 AM “The Yanks Are Coming!” Jari Villanueva’s lecture on WWI Bands, Weitz Center for Creativity on the campus of Carleton College in Northfield.

-Friday August 2 at 4 PM Way Park, 720 1st Street West Northfield, MN 55057

-Saturday August 3 at Noon Battle of the Bands Bridge Square, Northfield, MN
-Saturday August 3 at 2 PM Bridge Square, Northfield, MN
-Saturday August 3 at 6pm Northfield Cemetery, Veteran’s Memorial Concert

-Sunday August 4 at 1030 AM Church Service at First United Church of Christ, 300 Union St, Northfield, MN

VBf 2019 Minnesota Band: 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. All of the music that Brio Brass plays has been composed or arranged by the director, Rick Rueckert. He has written more than 200 arrangements and compositions. Expect lots of humming, toe tapping and even dancing in the aisles! Brio Brass will play at the Bridge Square Main Stage for VBF 2019 on Sunday, August 4 at 2 p.m.

Brio Brass

VBF 2019 USA Bands: Independent Silver Band

Independent Silver Band (IL)

In 1884 to 1889 the prosperous and energetic Illinois community of Mt. Vernon enjoyed the music of its own Independent Silver Band. In July, 2004, the music of the Independent Silver Band came to life once more. It was composed of 10 local men, all of whom attended the same church and Sunday school. By bringing together interested brass players and percussionists from Mt. Vernon and surrounding cities and towns in southern Illinois, the Independent Silver Band assembled the proper team of dedicated persons. They all shared the vision of giving audiences the chance to hear the music of a bygone time. The band leader of Independent Silver Band is William Reynolds.

Independent Silver Band at VBF 2016

VBF 2019 Minnesota Bands: 34th Infantry Division Band

Officially organized 30 April 1900, the 34th Infantry Division Band has proudly served state and nation for over 114 years, seeing service in WWI, WWII and the Global War on Terrorism. Whether performing for the public, supporting military ceremonies, or entertaining US Service members and our allies, the Soldier-Musicians of the Red Bull Band are honored to serve in one of the US Army’s most respected Divisions. The 34th Infantry Division Band performs many free public performances throughout Minnesota, including the Minnesota Music Educators Conference, the Minnesota State Fair, and Vikings and Twins sporting events among others. The Red Bull Band will be performing on Saturday, August 3 at 4pm on the Bridge Square Main Stage.

34th Infantry Division Band “The Red Bull Band”

VBF 2019 USA Bands: Newberry’s Victorian Cornet Band

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.