News Blog

La Grande Bande announces 2021-2022 season, return to live events

Today, La Grande Bande (LGB) announces its 2021–2022 season – the 3rd concert season for the organization. Led by LGB musicians and its music & artistic director, the 2021–2022 season features four performances at four venues throughout south-central Minnesota.

Four full-length concert performances from September to May

For over 300 days, La Grande Bande has not held a live, in-person performance. Like many organizations we’ve anxiously anticipated the day we can return to performing for all of you in person again. That day has arrived!

“I can’t tell you how excited I am about our upcoming season,” said La Grande Bande Music & Artistic Director. “It’s just going to be so great to be with everyone in the same room again. There’s such a great mixture of music for everyone to enjoy, too.”

The Virtuosos. LGB’s 2021–2022 season will kick-off on in September with a concert featuring musicians from LGB as soloists throughout the evening. Violinist Natalie Rose Kress will play a concerto from Antonio Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Baroque Guitarist and theorboist TJ Dalton will play a lute concerto by Vivaldi. Tenor Garrett Eucker returns to sing two Italian cantatas by Giovanni Bononcini and Domenico Gabrielli. LGB will also feature its world-class players as soloists in two of Johann Sebastian Bach’s beloved Brandenburg Concertos. Translations of the Italian cantata texts will be projected during the performance.

The Early Symphony. The fall season for LGB ends in December with a concert of pieces by Mozart and Haydn—two of classical music’s most famous and most popular composers. Although performances of this repertoire is quite common, this performance will be very special. It features performers using oboes, French horns, and bassoon that are high-quality copies of instruments from the mid-1750s. Their unique sounds, combined with the warmth of the string players, will create an unforgettable experience.

Music from New Spain. In February 2022, LGB’s spring season kicks-off with a concert of Mexican Baroque music at The Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in New Ulm. The concert will feature music written by Juan Gutiérrez de Padilla, the music director of the Basílica Catedral Metropolitana in Puebla, México from 1628 until 1664. Much of the music on this program was performed in 1649 when the Cathedral was consecrated. For this unique performance, LGB’s 12-member professional vocal and instrumental ensemble will be joined by an auditioned group of high school-aged singers who attend New Ulm area Catholic Schools. This collaboration between the Cathedral, New Ulm Area Catholic Schools, and LGB is the most in-depth collaboration in the ensemble’s history. Translations of the Latin and Spanish texts will be projected during the performance.

On the Music from New Spain program, Asmus commented, “I’m most excited for the Music from New Spain program in February. I had planned to do this program in Fall 2020, but obviously, that didn’t work out. The collaboration between the Cathedral, the schools, and LGB will really make the New Spain concert a super special experience for the audience, for the students, and for us. The scholar who inspired this program will also be coming from Puebla, México. She’s been a huge help and I’m looking forward to hearing her pre-concert talk.”

Court Entertainments. The spring season closes in May 2022 with a “Dine Out” concert experience at a local restaurant (location to be announced). This concert features music written during the reign of Louis XV, the great-grandson of Louis XIV. Soprano Chelsie Propst makes her in-person debut with LGB singing cantatas by Jean-Philip Rameau and Louis-Nicolas Clérambault. Natalie Kress, Maryne Mossey, and Michael Thomas Asmus round out the ensemble for this not-to-miss performance. Translations of the French texts will be projected during the performance.

“It’s an ambitious season,” Asmus noted. “We’ve been fortunate to receive a grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board for the season. We’ll be applying to several other grant making organizations over the next few months to help fund our programming. Our individual donors are hugely important to what we do. They keep us running. We couldn’t do anything without them.”

In-person educational programming returns

Out of all of its programming, LGB is very excited to return to its educational work—one of the pillars of the organization’s mission. The 21/22 Season will include two outreach concerts, four masterclass sessions, and four open rehearsal sessions. These three educational programs provide LGB and its communities with a unique opportunity to interact on a more personal level.

Outreach concerts. The purpose of the outreach concert is to bring high-quality arts programming to those who may not be physically able to attend one of La Grande Bande’s season concerts. The format of the concert will largely depend on the information received from the facility’s activities director. The performance will feature music from any concerts which will work with the Ensemble’s performance schedule.

In addition to performing some of the concert’s musical selections, we can also include a discussion about the music on the program. We could discuss the composers and Baroque music in general, the instruments and their differences to modern instruments, or the history surrounding the performed compositions, or all three.

Masterclasses. These events provide students with the unique opportunity to receive either one-on-one coachings, large group coachings, or a lecture based-upon the needs of each school and requests from the teachers. Two masterclass sessions will take place during preparations for our New Spain concert. One masterclass will take place during our Early Symphonies concert. One masterclass will take place during our Court Entertainments concert.

Open Rehearsal Sessions. Open rehearsal sessions are a educational program that LGB is proud to provide free of charge to the general public. These sessions provide an opportunity for community members to hear the concert’s music for those who cannot afford a ticket. Providing access to high-quality art, and helping others learn about and appreciate music, is an important part of La Grande Bande’s educational mission. Additionally, open rehearsals create an atmosphere of dialogue between ensemble members and members of the community. Interacting and meeting audience members, whether after a concert or during an open rehearsal is incredibly important to us. If they’re so moved, those in attendance are encouraged to talk with us before and after rehearsal, and during rehearsal breaks. 

Pre-concert talks. LGB’s pre-concert talks highlight intriguing and important aspects about the pieces and/or composers featured on that evening’s concert program. Using a combination of visual aids, recordings and/or live performance, our Music & Artistic Director provides unique insights about various pieces throughout the season. Pre-Concert Talks begin about an hour before the performance and will last about 30 minutes. These talks do not replace La Grande Bande’s much lauded program notes. A ticket to the evening performance is required for admission to all pre-concert talks.

Ticket information

Tickets for the 21/22 Season will be available for purchase beginning June 15, 2021. Tickets are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. Reserving tickets in advance is strongly encouraged. To order tickets, visit tickets.lagrandebande.org or call 507-237-6539. Seating for each concert is general admission. A ticket is required for admission to the pre-concert talks. LGB’s Open Rehearsal sessions remain free of charge and open to all. Please note that ticket purchase does not include the price of your meal for either LGB’s The Virtuosos or Court Entertainments concerts.

COVID-19 statement: LGB is carefully monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic as it begins to show signs of tapering off. We will follow all mandates and laws given by the State of Minnesota in their response to the pandemic. In the event that one or more of LGB’s activities are cancelled due to a rise in cases, we will make every effort to record the activities listed above and distribute them on our website and YouTube channel for viewing. People who purchased tickets to any effected concerts will receive early access to these videos. Publication information will be given in more detail if needed. Please note that tickets are only refundable when LGB cancels a performance.

Ticketing policy: Please note that tickets to our concerts are nontransferable. Tickets are also nonrefundable except in instances when La Grande Bande cancels a performance. LGB will notify each ticket holder of the performance cancellation by email or by phone. You may either elect to receive a full refund or to donate your unused ticket to LGB. In the event of a cancellation, please allow us at least 14 days to complete this process. Tickets purchased for our “Dine Out” events do not include the price of your meal, should you choose to have one. This policy takes effect on 1 June 2021.

Download the press release.

La Grande Bande Seeks Applicants

La Grande Bande is accepting applications to fill four positions within the ensemble. Two positions for historical oboe and two positions for natural horn. The selected players will join us for a concert in late-November or early-December 2021. (This performance will be at A = 430.) Any future performances will be on an as-needed basis.

La Grande Bande’s performances usually consist of three to four, two-hour rehearsals and one performance. The exact rehearsal schedule is dependent upon the instrumental requirements for each concert. Compensation generally consists of a stipend with lodging, airfare, and ground transportation payed by the ensemble.

There are also opportunities to work with high school students in masterclass settings and to perform outreach concerts for residents of local assisted living centers. These two components are crucial to the ensemble’s mission. No previous experience in educational outreach is required, but it is strongly encouraged.

To complete an application and submit your materials, please visit www.lagrandebande.org/auditions for a complete list of repertoire. Materials should be submitted no later than May 31, 2021. A decision will be made by June 15, 2021. Due to the circumstances of the coronavirus pandemic, we will accept materials recorded up to three years ago (2019).

Required application materials include your contact information, resume/CV, letters of recommendation (at least 2), recordings of the audition repertoire.