Roseville Big Band News Emails - 2003

Forty Years of Roseville Big Band (December 31, 2003)
Roseville Big Band Sit-in Night October 21, 2003 (October 16, 2003)
CAF Dance and Other Roseville Big Band News (May 29, 2003)
Stompin' at the Simley and Other Roseville Big Band News (March 12, 2003)

Forty Years of Roseville Big Band (December 31, 2003)

Roseville Big Band Members, Subs, and Supporters,

Some time in the middle of 1964, Mark Lammers added a stage band as one of the small ensembles within his newly-formed Roseville Municipal Band. Over the years, the stage band developed its own identity while remaining under the sponsorship of the Roseville Parks and Recreation Department. Now known as the Roseville Big Band, the ensemble has established a reputation for its ability to play entertaining concerts and furnish appropriate dance music, with a strong emphasis on swing.

As the current leader of the band, I would like to acknowledge and express my gratitude to those who have contributed so much to the band's success.

The band could not exist without the support of the Parks and Recreation Department, which during the time of the band's existence has been headed by just three men: Frank Rog, Bob Bierscheid, and Lonnie Brokke. Thanks for your support.

I am honored to follow in the footsteps of Mark Lammers, Bob Lancette, Paul Pizner and other directors who preceded me and spearheaded the artistic growth of the band's first three decades. Thanks for leading the way.

Current and past band members have contributed their skills in countless performances over the lifetime of the band, delighting audiences. To you and our many subs who have performed with us, I thank you and our audiences thank you.

Some band members have helped tremendously with the administrative aspects of the organization. I would like to especially thank Bob Nielsen for reliably loading and transporting our equipment, and Fred Christiansen for taking the lead in finding a rehearsal location for the band, building a storage area for equipment, and supplying music from his personal collection for the band to play.

I would also like to thank my fellow Rosetones, Karen, Diane, and Kirk, for adding professional-quality vocals to our community musical organization and for giving me the joy of singing close harmony with good friends, backed up by a full big band.

I learned long ago that audience members enjoy a musical performance even more when there is an entertaining visual component. For entertaining visuals, my thanks go to Cindy Gardner, whose leadership of the outstanding swing dance exhibition group, Rhythm & Swing, has resulted in many joint performances of the two organizations.

The Roseville Big Band enjoys the unique distinction of being the only big band in the Twin Cities whose concerts in the park are regularly broadcast live on cable television. This television coverage, which brings the sounds and sights of the Roseville Big Band and Rhythm & Swing to thousands of viewers who would be otherwise unable to enjoy our performances, is the handiwork of volunteer producer John Rusterholz and the other volunteers of CTV15. On behalf of myself and the band and dancers and the many who have enjoyed us because of your television broadcasts, thank you!

The Roseville Big Band's repertoire includes compositions and arrangements that were created especially for us. Thanks to Keith Miner, Julie Stenberg, Mike Bratlie, and everyone else who gave us the thrill of playing their new musical works for the first time. And on the flip side of that, thanks to all the band members and guest musicians who endured early pre-release versions of new music, including my own, as we revised songs prior to performing them.

Weekly rehearsals are part of the artistic life of the Roseville Big Band, and twice a year we follow the tradition Paul Pizner established of inviting others to sit in with us for a rehearsal. Thanks to everyone who has rehearsed with us and made it fun to create good music in the big band genre.

The Roseville Big Band is known world-wide from its web site, http://www.rosevillebigband.org, which is now visited by more than 250 internet users per day. Thanks go to my wife Jo, whose good taste in web design provided the guidance for the appearance and organization of the site, and to Keith Miner for programming various aspects of the site.

Last, but certainly not least, thanks to everyone who asked the band to play for their dances and concerts and to everyone who has been in the audience for one of our performances. You're the focus of our efforts and will continue to be for the next forty years of the band.

Glen Newton
Roseville Big Band Director

Roseville Big Band Sit-in Night October 21, 2003 (October 16, 2003)

Do you play sax, trombone, trumpet, or a rhythm section instrument? Wonder what it's like to play in the Roseville Big Band?
If you're interested in playing a rehearsal with the Roseville Big Band, we'd be delighted to have you attend our semi-annual instrumental sit-in night Tuesday, October 21, 2003. (Bring friends, too, if they'd like to play along with the band that night.)

Sit-in night will be held in the dining room of St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 1660 W. Co. Rd. B in Roseville, about a block and a half west of Snelling Ave. N. The church is on the south side of the street. The dining room is in the southeast corner of the church, next to the parking lot. There's a map on the Roseville Big Band web site: http://www.rosevillebigband.org/StMichaelsMap.htm

We'll rehearse from 7:30 to 9:30. Please bring a music stand if you have one!

For more information about sit-in nights, visit our web site at http://www.rosevillebigband.org/sit-in.html

I hope to see you there!

Glen Newton
Roseville Big Band Director

CAF Dance and Other Roseville Big Band News (May 29, 2003)

Roseville Big Band Members, Subs, and Supporters,

Don't miss the Commemorative Air Force Dance this Saturday, May 31, at Fleming Field in South St. Paul. Admission is only $8.00. Come early to look at the airplanes and participate in the free swing dance lessons by Dean and Cathy Kettner and Chris and Natalie Dillon starting at 7:00 p.m. We'll play from 8 p.m. until midnight. For a sneak peek at our tentative song lineup, see our list on the web: http://www.rosevillebigband.org/history/CAFS03.htm. As always, we'll take requests. You can learn more about the dance on our "Events in 2003" page: http://www.rosevillebigband.org/PublicEvents.html.

Did you hear Jerry Swanberg's radio show, "Big Band Scene" last Sunday? If not, tune in Saturday, May 31, on your way to the dance. His show "Big Bands - Summer Concerts in the Parks" on KBEM FM (88.5) airs again at 5:00 p.m. this Saturday. Jerry sent me a note saying that this summer there are 56 big band concerts at 21 different venues by 18 different big bands! On his show you'll hear tunes by eleven of those bands, including the Roseville Big Band.

As you can see from our "Events in 2003" page, the Roseville Big Band's first concert in Roseville's Central Park is less than two weeks away, June 10, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Once again we'll be broadcast live on Channel 15 by the volunteers of CTV15, led by John Rusterholz. And once again, we are featuring an outstanding guest soloist, vocalist Lauren Redpath. Lauren is a vocal music student at MusicTech and the niece of Roseville Big Band bassist Mike Wobig.

Congratulations to Roseville Big Band lead vocalist Karen Dunn! Karen sings lead in the Sweet Adelines quartet ICE!, which won their regional contest in Fargo two weeks ago with the highest score ever achieved by a quartet in this region. Furthermore, it was the 5th-highest score in any region during this year's competition. ICE! will compete in the international contest this fall.

Last month, the Roseville Big Band provided dance music for Lyngblomsten Foundation's 16th annual Spring Rhapsody fundraiser. 280 guests spent "An Evening in the Enchanted Garden", raising nearly $48,000 for the foundation. The proceeds will benefit the foundation's parish nurse ministry.

I hope to see you at the dance on Saturday!

Glen Newton
Roseville Big Band Director

Stompin' at the Simley and Other Roseville Big Band News (March 12, 2003)

Roseville Big Band Members, Subs, and Supporters,

This email announces some exciting upcoming Roseville Big Band events and summarizes our recent activities.

Stompin' at the Simley: Saturday, March 22, 2003

The title of the swing era tune "Stompin' at the Savoy" refers to the frequent musical competitions held at the Savoy ballroom in Harlem. In a typical "battle of the bands" evening, top-flight bands such as those of Benny Goodman and Chick Webb would alternate tunes, each trying to outdo the other in the opinion of the couples who filled the dance floor. Now you have the opportunity to be part of a modern version of this exciting competition, as the Roseville Big Band and the River City Jazz Orchestra try to outdo each other while playing non-stop music for your listening and dancing pleasure. These two bands have shared musical ideas at annual joint rehearsals for more than a decade and have performed together once in the past, and this promises to be the most memorable collaboration of them all!
This performance will be held in the Simley High School Cahill Court Cafeteria from 8:00 until 11:30 p.m. Free swing dance lessons will start at 7:00 and last about 50 minutes. Adult admission is $10; student admission is $5.

The school is at 2920 East 80th Street in Inver Grove Heights, a southern suburb of St. Paul. Because the River City Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Inver Hills Community College Jazz Band) is based in Inver Grove Heights, this performance will be back-to-school night for several RCJO members who are Simley High School alumnae. The same applies to Roseville Big Band tenor vocalist Kirk Lindberg, who played trumpet in the Simley High School band.

Proceeds from the dance will benefit the Inver Grove Heights school music program. Come join us for this worthwhile event and experience a historic dance tradition brought to life by two fine bands and many fine dancers!

Spring Sit-in Night: Tuesday, April 8, 2003

Do you play sax, trombone, trumpet, or a rhythm section instrument? Wonder what it's like to play in the Roseville Big Band? Join us for our semi-annual instrumental sit-in night! Information about sit-in nights, including time and location, is on our web site at http://www.rosevillebigband.org/sit-in.html.

An Evening in the Enchanted Garden: Friday, April 25, 2003

The Roseville Big Band will provide the dance music and band leader Glen Newton will provide the pre-dinner piano music for Lyngblomsten Foundation's 16th annual Spring Rhapsody. Although the dance, held at the Prom Center in Oakdale, is six weeks away, you'll need your reservations by April 9, so don't delay in contacting Angela in the Foundation office at (651) 632-5323.

For more information about these events and other upcoming concerts and dances, please visit our web site, http://www.rosevillebigband.org/, and click on the "Public Performances" button.

Recent Past Performances

We've performed several times since the previous Roseville Big Band News email.

Our October 27th concert at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul was our first performance in this beautiful sanctuary. Take a look at the song list web page, http://www.rosevillebigband.org/history/2002-10-27.htm, to see a sketch of the band in concert drawn by one of the audience members.

On November 23rd, we played for the Children's Hospital 53rd Annual Ball at the Radisson Riverfront in St. Paul. We began playing dance music when the doors opened for guests to arrive at 7:30. We switched to dinner music as dinner was served starting around 8:20. The Rhythm & Swing dancers performed to our rendition of "In the Mood" at 9:10, when the sorbet course was being served. The program followed, emceed by Colleen Needles. We continued playing for the dancers on the crowded dance floor until 10:10, inviting the guests (nearly 600 of them) to go upstairs to dance to Cookie Coleman's combo.

We were assisted in these last two performances in 2002 by many of our talented subs: Mark Stevens, baritone sax; Fred Anderson and John O'Laughlin, guitars; John Harbaugh (who rearranged his class schedule to rehearse with us), Tim Altmann, and Bob Hallquist, trumpets; Tom Simpson, trombone; and Mark Olson, bass trombone.

You can find out more about these and other Roseville Big Band events in 2002 on the band's web site at http://www.rosevillebigband.org/history/Events2002.htm.

We began our 2003 performance schedule with a January 28th concert at O'Gara's, as guests of the Nova Big Band, who perform there the fourth Tuesday of each month. For those of you unfamiliar with the performance venue, this is the O'Gara's at the corner of Snelling and Selby in St. Paul, from where the "World's Worst Irish Tenor" contest is broadcast on national television on St. Patrick's Day.

For the past decade, we have performed for the Mid-Winter Dance of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and we continued the tradition this year on February 8th. This is the band's one road trip of the year, and it's nice in the middle of winter to be able to relax on the charter bus on the way to and from the dance.

Again, we were assisted for these two dances by outstanding subs: Keith Thompson and Gene Phares, trumpets; Dave Magnuson and Leslie Brandt, alto saxes; Mickey Lockner, tenor sax; Carl Berger (former Roseville Big Band guitarist), guitar; and Brian Dole (former Roseville Big Band pianist, alto and tenor saxophonist), piano.

"Putting on the Ritz", the March 1st fundraiser for the Roseville Area High School (RAHS) music department was an artistic success. Credit for this goes to the tireless organizers, Randy and Monica Oehrlein. Part of what made the evening special was performances by current and former RAHS and RAMS music faculty members Tim McMillin, vocal; Bob Hallquist, trumpet and flugelhorn; and Norm Herzog, piano. The other special feature of the evening was the amazing dance demonstrations by Uwe and Dagmar Kortshagen, Andy and Janie Nordberg, David Haas and Julie Zarambo, and Chuck Lambert and Maro Strootman. Unfortunately, attendance was low, so the amount of money raised for the donation to the RAHS music department was smaller than it had been in previous years.

The Roseville Big Band Web Site

Our web site had its 10,000 visit at the end of February. The average number of visitors each day is now over 200.

Although the majority of web site visitors find the information they're looking for on the web site (e.g., band performances, band song list, piccolo trumpet description, contrast between euphonium and tuba, picture of bass saxophone), some send me email with questions that go beyond the usual inquiries about us playing for events, sending a free CD, or purchasing musical arrangements from them. Here's a sample:

How can I find out how much my cornet is worth?
Can you play bass lines on a euphonium?
I'm doing family tree research. Can you put me in touch with <someone mentioned on the web site>?
Would your E-flat flute player like to sell the flute?
I want to play soprano trombone in my high school band. Where can I buy one?
What was the Big Rapids High School (the school I attended) band like in the 60's?
Where is Roseville?

When you visit the Roseville Big Band web site, http://www.rosevillebigband.org/, do you find the information you're looking for? If not, click on the button "Contact Us" and send me an email.

Better yet, tell me in person at one of our upcoming performances!

Glen Newton
Roseville Big Band Director

Click the year to read the Roseville Big Band news emails for 2000, 2001, and 2002.