Chatfield Brass Band promises exciting concert schedule in honor of 50th anniversary

GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY/CHATFIELD NEWS The Chatfield Brass Band performed in the 2019 Preston Trout Days parade, riding the same float that has served the band for decades.
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy

Dixieland, polkas, waltzes, black horses, trombone rags and rubber ducks.

That’s the brass area residents know and love.

“The band will be performing over 40 pieces this summer, and that includes marches, Broadway musicals, Dixieland, polkas, waltzes, trombone rags, country and much more, and Jerry Barrett will perform a trumpet solo with the band, and Mike Moriarty will solo on the euphonium. Programming for the summer concert series will include music from the early years of the band, celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the moon landing and the first season of ‘Sesame Street,’ and our emcees this year are Steve Strange, Katy Schleusner and Dan Hollermann. There’s something for everyone!” declared Chatfield Brass Band (CBB) director Carmen Narveson.

Narveson shared the upcoming CCB Concert in the Park music series, featuring the brass and woodwind sounds of the town’s one and only state-renowned brass band.

Narveson outlined that this CBB concert season is special – it’s an anniversary. “We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Chatfield Brass Band on Saturday, June 29, at Potter Auditorium. The band cordially invites friends of the band, former players, families of former players and all organizations and people that have supported the band in the last 50 years,” she said.

The program will include music by the Chatfield Brass Band that honors their history and Jim Perkins, the founder of the band. Special guests will be recognized, speakers will share memories and history of the band, and a video history of the band will be highlighted.

A light reception and social will follow the concert in the Legion Room of the Center for the Arts.

“We have received a grant from the People’s Energy Co-op Trust to fund the historical video and other anniversary items,” she added.

CBB’s concerts are made possible each summer through the epic volunteerism of musicians from Chatfield and beyond who take up their tubas or trumpets and play for the joy of playing, and the concert series happens courtesy of a grant from the Southern Minnesota Arts Council.

Narveson noted, “The band has 40 members ranging in age from 15 to 80-plus. In the past, the majority of our band members have been retired, but in the last five or so years, we have moved to having over half our band working, and many with children. The band begins rehearsals in January to prepare for the summer concert series. Making music is really fun in rehearsal, but we always look forward to performing for an appreciative audience. We love our Brass Band audience – they are loyal and very enthusiastic.”

The first concert of the season was held last Thursday, June 6, featuring a theme of CBB band traditions and the 50th anniversary of man’s first walk on the moon.

The program featured “America the Beautiful” by Samuel Ward and arranged by Cacavas, “On the Square” by Frank Panella, a Rodgers-Yoder arrangement of “Highlights from the State Fair,” Sigmund Romberg’s “Serenade from Student Prince,” a euphonium solo given by Mike Moriarty, “The Marches of Mancini” by Henry Mancini, “The Band Played On,” Andy Groen’s “Chatfield March” as arranged by David G. Nasby,” pieces to honor the moon walk – “Coronation March,” “Fly Me to the Moon,” and a Rodgers-Bennett “Blue Moon,” followed by the closing song, “The Klaxon March,” by Henry Fillmore.

This week’s concert, on Thursday, June 13, at 7:30 p.m., is emceed by Steve Strange, who’ll open with a tribute to CBB founder Jim Perkins. The repertoire will include John Philip Sousa’s “The Black Horse Troop March,” “Aquarelle” by T.V. Short, a cornet solo given by Jerry Barrett, a further salute to Jim Perkins, selections by Meredith Willson from “The Music Man,” “Mister Bandtown U.S.A.” by James “Red” McLeod, “My Way” as arranged by Cacavas, “Shoutin’ Liza Trombone” by Henry Fillmore, “Tennessee Salute” by Jay Dawson, “Dixieland Jambouree” arranged by John Warrington, and “Auld Lang Syne March” by K.L. King. Ice cream treats will be available from F&M Community Bank and the Silver Grille.

One of CBB’s favorite guests, “The Notochords,” will wow the audience on Thursday, June 20, at 7:30 p.m. in the park if the skies are blue, and if not, they’ll pack up and take their tunes to Chatfield Lutheran Church’s fellowship hall.

The annual patriotic concert, set this year for Thursday, June 27, is sponsored in honor of Leo and Ruth Giehtbrock, and Chatfield High School band director Katy Schleusner will be master of ceremonies as CBB recognizes veterans and current military and pays tribute to the freedoms of the nation that their service afforded. The concert will open with Sousa’s “The Star Spangled Banner,” after which the band will proceed to “The Pledge of Allegiance” arranged by Alfred Reed, “America the Beautiful,” and E.E. Bagley’s “National Emblem March.”

Schleusner will then speak about the American tradition of holding concerts in the park – shiny brass, open air, dandelion fluff, dogs barking and the squeak of playground swings sending children skyward. The band will again perform “On the Square,” “Coronation March” and “Fly Me to the Moon” as part of the ongoing celebration of the moon landing. “Armed Forces Salute” will bring the veterans to their feet as the band plays the arrangement by Bob Lowden, offering the audience a chance to applaud the men and women of the armed forces. Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” is next on the program, as are Kenneth Alford’s “The Vanished Army” and Cohen’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” during which the children in the audience are invited to come up to the bandshell to be the stars for a moment.

The patriotic concert will close with “Let There Be Peace on Earth” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” Throughout the evening, audience members may choose to enjoy dinner made available by the Chatfield Commercial Club. If the sky starts to fall, the concert will be presented in Potter Auditorium at the Chatfield Center for the Arts (CCA).

CBB will host its 50th anniversary concert on Saturday, June 29, at 2 p.m. in Potter Auditorium, emceed by Dan Hollermann, with a special welcome from CBB’s president, Ellen Grabau.

The concert will offer performances of “America the Beautiful,” “Washington Post March,” “Mr. Bandtown U.S.A.,” “My Way,” “Klaxon March,” and mass band performances of “Auld Lang Syne” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Celebratory remarks will be given by Chatfield Mayor Russ Smith, with tributes to Perkins, a CBB history video and additional speakers paying homage to the tune-makers that have come before and will succeed in CBB’s musical legacy.

The Kids’ Night concert will be held in City Park on July 11 – after an evening off on July 4 to mark the nation’s birthday — and will include recognition of past and present conductors, as well as selections such as “Jamaican Folk Suite” and “Brasses to the Fore” by Harold L. Walters.

There will be a children’s instrument and flag march around the park to “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” the theme from Sesame Street and Ernie’s “Rubber Duckie” in honor of Sesame Street’s 50th anniversary – engaging children in the letters “A” and “Q” and the number 12 for five whole decades. – and during which children can join the band with rubber duckies and bubbles.

The concert will continue with “Cheerio March” by Edwin Franko Goldman to remind the audience of everyone’s first cereal. Other selections include Leroy Anderson’s “Waltzing Cat,” John N. Klohr’s “Billboard March,” and “Beauty and the Beast” to highlight the 2019 Chatfield Western Days Wits’ End Theatre production of the beloved fairytale.

Ice cream treats are planned in honor of Chatfield Lutheran Church’s 75th anniversary, and the Silver Grille will once again be bringing dinner for sale.

The sixth concert of the season goes on the road to the Chosen Valley Care Center at 7 p.m. on Thursday, July 18, sharing tunes such as “Highlights from State Fair,” “Klaxon March” and “Tinker Polka.”

Three days later, CBB finds itself out in the country as it gathers on the lawn across from Pilot Mound Lutheran Church on Sunday, July 21, at 7 p.m. – for the Pilot Mound ice cream social, the sun coming around to the day’s end and nobody swatting at a stray skeeter because they’re all in such a good mood.

The band returns to the park and its regular 7:30 performance time on Thursday, July 25, for the summer’s final Concert in the Park series collection, sending notes of “Beauty and the Beast” musical performers’ songs and band members’ favorites into the air.

Lastly, CBB will be found floating through two parades – the Lanesboro Buffalo Bill Days parade on Sunday, Aug. 4, and the Chatfield Western Days parade on Saturday, Aug. 10, after which they’ll march to City Park and take up their brass in the bandshell for a post-parade party.

Narveson reiterated that everyone’s welcome to attend the CBB Concert in the Park series, from the smallest to the tallest, and even a few pups, too.

Concerts are typically held on Thursday evenings at 7:30 p.m. in City Park unless otherwise noted, and sponsorships are available for $50 each evening to have a loved one or two honored during the concert.

For more information on the band itself or its concerts, log onto