Community Band Spotlight: Minneapolis Police Band February 25 2010, 0 Comments

ALTISSIMO! RECORDINGS FEBRUARY NEWSLETTER 2010 Krista Slinkard, Altissimo! Staff MINNEAPOLIS POLICE BAND In Minneapolis, MN, the winter snow may be falling, the temperatures might be dropping, and the wind might hit you in the face, but the Minneapolis Police Band will play on. This was the case this past December when the band performed in the Holidazzle Parades in Minnesota in bone-chilling 16 degree weather. Now that’s dedication! This group of musicians enjoys playing no matter what the situation may be. Comprised of both civilians and officers, both active and retired, the band strives to make music fun for all, including themselves. Founded in 1917, the band’s first official performance was for an Armistice Day parade in November of 1918. These musicians typically march in 4 or 5 parades per year in addition to other concert performances. There are approximately 28 members in the marching band, 17 in the swing band, and 35 in the concert band, with an age range of 18-88. In this group, there are several military veterans, including two who specifically played in the US Army band during their service to their country. The music is generally selected by the director, but the band is always open to public suggestions for expanding their library. Two recent directors mastered the art of selecting music. Retiring at the end of 2007, Officer Robert Falk ended his 40-year service as director of the band, which began in 1967. Mr. Falk was a respected member and leader of the band and in the community. Upon his retirement, Bob Dynan stepped out of his Assistant Director role and into the shoes of the Director. The band tries to make their concerts very audience friendly, and even have a vocalist to accompany them on certain songs and also be the Master of Ceremonies or drum major, depending on what role he needs to fill that day. The talented band has a wide repertoire of tunes to choose from to play. Favorites include “Them Basses,” “Stars and Stripes Forever,” “American Patrol,” and “in the Christmas Mood,” a favorite for December concerts and parades. In addition to playing locally, they have worked with elementary schools to promote the continued study of music and music education, and they have also traveled across the US and Canada. In 2006, the Minneapolis Police Band had the honor of being inducted into the Minneapolis State Music Hall of Fame. At the end of a day’s practice, the Minneapolis Police Band members either go home or go back to protecting those they serve. Just another day in the life, but all the more worthwhile when there’s music to be made, and for that Altissimo! salutes this band in the Community Band Spotlight. For more information on the Minneapolis Police Band, visit their website. Special Thanks to Patty Bjork for being an excellent interviewee! If you know of a band that we should highlight, please let us know! Email Krista at