In Memory of Bob Lancette (1937-2002)

Bob led the band in October, 1985. Bigger picture is 42K. Bob conducted the Roseville Jazz Ensemble at the 1985 North Suburban Ball.
Bob led the band July 4, 1984. Picture is 18K. Bob conducted the Roseville Jazz Ensemble at the Central Park band shell.
Former Role in Roseville Big Band: 

Director

Member during: 

1976 through 1987

Occupation: 

Employment counselor

Bob directed both the Roseville Community Band and the Roseville Big Band from 1976 through 1987, when he moved to Colorado.

Although the Roseville Jazz Ensemble had been started by Mark Lammers shortly after the concert band was formed, the ensemble had been dormant, and Bob, along with trombonist Phil Florine, revived it in the fall of 1976. Leading the jazz ensemble carried no extra pay, but Bob's love of the musical genre inspired him to put in the extra hours to make the band an important part of the community's music.

During Bob's tenure as leader of the two groups, their names changed from Roseville Band and Roseville Jazz Ensemble to Roseville Community Band and Roseville Big Band, they names they have today.

Because the Big Band was considered a part of the Community Band, most of the Roseville Big Band members also played in the Community Band, although some, including guitarist Leigh Anderson and trumpeter John Curlee, played exclusively in the Big Band.

One of Bob's innovations was the introduction of the band's newsletter, the Band-Aids.

Bob's skill as a promoter and his creative musical collaborations led to joint concerts between the two bands as well as concerts that involved both the Roseville Band and other groups, including a men's chorus and a drum and bugle corps. On one of the concerts during Bob's first year as director, the Roseville Chorus, directed by Carol Gilson, joined with the band on stage at Ramsey High School (now Roseville Area High School), with each group performing separately and the two joining together on the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. That concert also included a combo entertaining the audience between halves of the concert.

On another concert, Bob arranged for the rental of an organ from Schmitt Music for Carol Hanson, a trumpeter in the band, to play on the band's performance of "Crown Imperial March".

The band also adopted red and white winter and summer uniforms. The Community Band still uses the red sweaters in the winter and red polo shirts in the summer, each bearing the Roseville Community Band logo. During the 1990s, the Big Band moved away from the red ruffled winter shirts and red polo shirts to black and white with red or blue ties and cummerbunds for the winter and blue polo shirts with a new Roseville Big Band logo for the summer.

Bob was also an advocate for a band shell in Roseville. The city's 1961 plan for Central Park identified a "band shelter" near County Road C, between Lexington and Victoria, but when Bob began directing the band the city was still renting the Ramsey County portable band wagon for the group's concerts. Negotiations by Bob and key band members with Frank Rog, head of the Parks and Recreation department, set the stage for building the band shell in Central Park on the shore of Lake Bennett after the Roseville tornado uprooted all the trees on the bank.

One highlight of Bob's tenure as band director was the band's retreat to Cragun's resort on Gull Lake, where band members were coached by three great musicians from the Twin Cities: Reuben Haugen for the woodwinds, Bob Case for the brass, and Marvin Dahlgren for the percussion. The concerts associated with the retreat featured Bob Case, trumpet soloist, on "Carnival of Venice", and Glen Newton, euphonium soloist, on "Morceau Symphonique". On the Saturday night of the retreat, Reuben, Bob, Marv, and Glen (piano) formed a combo to entertain band members.

Another highlight was the band's performing tour to England and Ireland in 1979. At the International Music Festival in Dublin, the band won the first place trophy for best wind band in the competition. "Dance", an original composition by band member and trumpet soloist Carolyn Bayerkohler, scored for band by Glen Newton, was a special feature of those concerts. The Big Band, which was part of the Concert Band at the time, performed as part of the concert at a school in Limerick, Ireland; this was the group's first international performance.

To help publicize the tour and raise money for the band, Bob worked with several band members to bring the United States Marine Band to Roseville for a concert.

He also explored the role of a vocalist with the band and recruited Kathy Olson, sister of Community Band clarinetist Bob Olson, to sing "South of the Border" and other selections at 1984 Roseville Big Band concerts in the park.

Bob continued the tradition, begun by Mark Lammers, of participation in the North Suburban Ball held at Har-Mar Mall in Roseville. But instead of providing pre-ball entertainment, the Roseville Jazz Ensemble under Bob's direction provided the primary entertainment for the dance.

In 1985 Bob organized the largest jazz band ever to perform in Roseville's Central Park. Although it was billed as "The World's Largest Jazz Band", it fell short of the number needed for listing in the Guinness Book of World Records.

While Bob was in the Marines, he played tuba in a Marine band. In the early 1970's, he played tuba and sousaphone in the University of Minnesota bands. Around that same time, Bob led the VFW-sponsored Cootie Bum band, whose humorous marching performances entertained paradegoers from Minnesota to Texas.

Bob's post-collegiate tuba playing included a performance with a Dixieland group he formed to entertain at a Sperry-Univac open house in Roseville. This group included former Roseville Band directors Dave Magnuson, tenor sax, and Dick Miller, trumpet, joining band members Phil Florine, trombone, Paul Pozel, clarinet, and Glen Newton, banjo.

He formed a second Dixieland group to complement the performances of the Roseville Big Band and Roseville Community Band for Roseville's 1986 Independence Day celebration in Central Park. The group, humorously named "The Original Dixieland Bland", featured Bob's vocal skills on "Basin Street Blues".

Bob encouraged the Confederate Air Force (which renamed itself the "Commemorative Air Force" in 2002) to hold an annual fund-raising dance in their hangar at Fleming Field in South St. Paul, and he led the Roseville Big Band in its first years of performing for these dances. The dances began in 1982, and the Roseville Big Band has played for them ever since. Initially they were held once a year, near Memorial Day. For example, the 1985 dance was held June 15 as part of the annual Fleming Field Days Air Show. The group later added a second dance in September.

After moving to the Atlanta area in 1990, he formed the Peachtree City Community Band. He has served as a tubist in the band as well as its conductor. In September, 2002, the Peachtree City city council honored Bob for his leadership of the band and musical contributions to the community.

Bob was born August 31, 1937, in Ramsey County, Minnesota. He died October 5, 2002, in Atlanta, Georgia, and was buried October 11, 2002 in Fort Snelling National Cemetery, in St. Paul, Minnesota.