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Talented local musicians playing classy tunes

The Mid-Minnesota Concert band was organized in the fall of 1977 when Dave Gleason, longtime high school band director at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted schools, talked to a few alumni and townspeople.

The response was a bit underwhelming . . . only 11 prospective musicians. However, there is something to be said for starting slow. The year 2007 was the band’s 30th anniversary and places them among some of the longest- lived community bands in Minnesota.

Saxiphonists playing

Comprised of players from as young as 14 and as old as . . . well, we’ll just say “older,” this group performs throughout central Minnesota – from Litchfield to St. Paul, and St Cloud to Norwood. This is also the area most of its musicians have come from.

One of the more “famous” musicians to have played with the group was Al Peterson, who worked in Hollywood (California, not the township!) for, among others, Lawrence Welk.

Another, Kenneth Leander, played in the service during WWII and toured with Don Knotts who, at the time, was a ventriloquist. This was obviously before he became a lawman and moved to Mayberry.

The band performs a few paid concerts and has some very loyal sponsors. This allows them to purchase music for their library and grant scholarships to their high school and college students. Over the past few years, around $10,000 has been allocated to these up-and-coming musicians.

During the summer, look for the band to play in Cokato for the Corn Carnival, Winsted for Brat Busters, Waverly during Waverly Days, Dassel for Dairy Days and many other events and festivals.

If you would like to join as a musician, schedule an event, or sponsor the scholarship program, call Kendell Kubasch at (320) 543-2678.

Mid-Minnesota Concert Band
A collection of gifted musicians who come from a four-county area, playing together as a band known as the Mid-Minnesota Concert Band.

They are expected to play at several area festivities.

Herald Journal