The 1st Nebraska Volunteers Brass Band returned from the Vintage Band Festival in Northfield, MN on Sunday afternoon. We had a GLORIOUS time during our 3.5 days in the beautiful victorian town, and played a total of 7 performances. There were about 50 bands at the festival including one from Germany and one from Belgium.
The festival, which occurs every three years features bands that recreate different eras in American history, including Civil War, Cowboy Rodeo, Victorian, and World War I. It was a treat to hear so many wonderful performances by dedicated musicians and to hear such a variety of music being played.
1st Nebraska opened its slate of performances with a Thursday evening informal concert on the deck of our hotel. That was followed on Friday by formal concerts on the Way Park Stage and later the main stage at Bridge Square Park.
On Saturday, we presented a paper on the history of the 1st Nebraska Volunteer Infantry Regiment Band of 1861-1862, and then played in the Battle of the Bands along with 7 other groups on either bank of the Cannon River. That last event recalls several times during the Civil War where Union bands and Confederate bands serenaded their respective troops on either side of a river the night preceding a battle.
Saturday evening found the band playing for the crowd at the Reunion Restaurant, Northfield’s hot spot. Then on Sunday morning, the band provided special music for the worship service at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church.
This was our first experience playing in the Vintage Band Festival. We want to thank our host and festival director Paul Niemisto for the invitation to participate, and we look forward to 2022, the year of the next festival, and to our hopeful return.