The Northland Community Band became part of Northland State Junior College in 1972 and has remained a vital part of our student activities and beloved part of our community since then. The ensemble’s history actually dates back to the summer of 1912 and began as the Thief River Falls City Band. It has had many names over the years depending on who has supported it, and we are proud to say that the ensemble has celebrated over 45 years as part of Northland.
Membership in the band is comprised of a group of 30-45 members who represent a wide spectrum of educational and professional backgrounds including many area music instructors and students from Northland Community and Technical College and area high schools. The presence of adults making music is a living inspiration for younger members in the band and has been effective in bridging the generation gap.
Rehearsals are held each Monday evening at NCTC lasting two full hours with a fifteen-minute conversation/refreshment break. The two primary concerts for this group are the Fall Band Concert, in November, and the Spring Concert in May. The Fall Concert is typically performed in conjunction with the High School Honor Band. The Spring Concert has been held at a variety of locations including local outdoors venues. Admission fees for events support the Northwest Minnesota Community Bands, which is a non-profit group that supports the Northland Community Band as well as its sister organization, the Northern Jazz.
The band has engaged in other events outside the Fall and Spring Concerts and has appeared at the Minnesota Music Educators Convention and the Minnesota Community Band Festival. In the summer of 1990, an extensive European Tour included appearances at the American Music Festival in Graz, Austria. And in 1998 the band was selected by taped audition to represent the USA in its division at the Sydney Music Festival in Australia. In 2005, the Northland Community Band traveled to England and Ireland with 43 performing members. Three years later in 2008, a group traveled to Peru as witnesses to a very unique culture and visited many sites including Lima, Cuzco, Taquile Island in Lake Titicaca, and Machu Picchu. Although the overseas trips are fun, we also routinely travel to Minneapolis or Winnipeg to watch a variety of productions, based on student and community interest.
The Northland Community Band is dedicated to encouraging community amateur musicianship, supporting music education in Northwest Minnesota, and stimulating the appreciation of band music by providing locally accessible concerts for the people in our region.
The Northland Community Band, dedicated to creating an ensemble that is comprised of members from all walks of life, with diverse backgrounds and experiences and ranging in age from teenagers to octogenarians, provides a special, challenging musical opportunity in a social atmosphere and performs quality music for Northwest Minnesota audiences.