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Minnesota State Band will play here March 22

 

March 18, 2019

A little more than 120 years after the Minnesota State Band was started, they will play a concert in Park Rapids at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22. The band was started by members of the Fraternal Order of Elks in St. Paul. They played as the Elks Band before changing the name to the Minnesota State Band in April 1898. Band members were all professional musicians, performers and educators, who donated their services on many occasions, but most of the time were paid to play. In 1963, the band was reformed as a state employee band with an all-volunteer membership, playing for fun at official State of Minnesota events and in the community.

The Minnesota State Band will perform in concert, under the direction of Keith Liuzzi, at 7 p.m. Friday, March 22 at the Park Rapids Area High School auditorium.

The concert will feature two band members as soloists: Tom Wells on tuba (Park Rapids) and Fred Larson on clarinet (Wadena). The band also will perform its most recent commissioned work, One Fair Summer Eve by David Evan Thomas. This four-movement suite (Pronto, Carousel, Princess Kay of the Milky Way, On Machinery Hill) depicts different aspects of the Minnesota State Fair.

"We premiered the work last November and now are happy to bring to more Minnesota audiences on our tours around the state," Liuzzi said.

The Minnesota State Band is the official band of the State of Minnesota. Founded in 1898, the 60-piece concert band is the only remaining State Band in the nation and has represented the State of Minnesota on six International Goodwill Tours since 1986. While international travel is important, the band sees its primary mission as providing high quality music to the residents of Minnesota The band's goal is to contribute positively to the development of music in the state and to affirm and continue the strong Minnesota band heritage in quality music.

The Park Rapids Lakes Area Arts Council and Park Rapids Community Education are sponsoring the event which will include an afternoon program for Century Middle School and Area High School band students.

The band's concerts are always free, but anyone can join the ranks of their esteemed Associate Band Members by donating any amount. A very reasonable amount will procure one of their collectable stuffed animals. A free will donation also will be taken to offset local expenses.

The band's spring concert tour is funded in part by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on Nov. 4, 2008.

The Minnesota State Band also will perform at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 23 at the Memorial Auditorium in Wadena, located at 216 Dayton Ave. SW.

For more information about the band, including history, news and upcoming events, please visit http://www.minnesotastateband.org.

 

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