News Blog

The Fall Season Goes Virtual

The “Season At Home” Series begins September 4

With so much uncertainty surrounding the future developments of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board has determined that La Grande Bande’s best course of action is to cancel its planned Fall 2020 Concert Season. It is our sincere hope that we will be able to resume our programming in person beginning in January 2021.

In lieu of in person performances, La Grande Bande will continue its virtual programming model through the end of 2020.

“We are living through historic times when it comes to trying to plan a concert season,” said Michael Thomas Asmus, La Grande Bande’s Music & Artistic Director. “We are adamant that La Grande Bande’s mission of presenting unique and innovative concerts must continue despite the pandemic. We are certain that the online programming—we’re calling it our ‘Season At Home’—will bring us one step closer to continuing La Grande Bande’s mission: delivering unique and inspiring programming to our communities.”

The “Season At Home”

La Grande Bande’s “Season At Home” is largely a continuation of its “Live From Home” series which began on May 15. For Fall 2020, LGB’s “Season At Home” will provide enough music for three full-length concert programs. Each video will be accompanied with program notes and have English subtitles for translations when necessary.

The “Season At Home” performances will be published publicly every two weeks beginning September 4. Sustaining Contributors will receive access to the content a week before the public.

“The ‘Season At Home’ performances are going to be rehearsed and recorded later this summer and into early fall,” Asmus said. “We hope this schedule will allow us to do as much as possible if the current situation drastically changes.”

The typical variety of music you’re used to hearing will continue in the Season At Home. “It’s actually a pretty exciting time, despite the circumstances,” Asmus said. On the schedule are sonatas by Handel, suites by Bach, a concerto grosso by William Boyce, and some airs de cour by Michel Lambert.

“I had to totally scrap what I had planned for the fall season and start from scratch,” Asmus noted. “I had to make sure we wouldn’t have more than 10 people and that we could keep as much social distancing as possible. With what we have planned now, we’ll be performing pieces we may not have performed for another few years.”

La Grande Bande also hopes to provide some other educational programming through virtual webinars or masterclasses. “We just want to make sure we can live up to the promises and the mission of what we do,” noted Board member Madeline Cacciatore. “Performances are a part of that, but so is our educational programming.”

“Education is central to who we are, and we have to make sure we can live up to that. Program notes are obviously a part of that, but they’re not everything,” said Board member Joe Thomas. “We need to do everything we can to get into the community.”

Spring 2021

Currently, La Grande Bande plans to resume in person performances beginning in January 2021 with Concert VI: Splendors of Baroque Italy.

Resuming in person performances will constantly be evaluated, and may change depending on conditions.

You can view more about our upcoming 2020–2021 Season here.

La Grande Bande’s Season At Home is supported in part by a grant from the Carl & Verna Schmidt Foundation, by a grant from the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, and by our wonderful Contributors and Sustaining Contributors.

La Grande Bande Launches “Live From Home” Series

The current COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us. At La Grande Bande, we’ve had to postpone the final two concerts of our 2019-2020 Concert Season.

In an effort to continue our programming goals—providing excellent musical performances and educational resources—we’re launching an online concert series. 

The first video for our “Live From Home” series will be available for viewing on May 15, with additional videos uploaded every two weeks (through at least the end of August). 

Many of our musicians are donating their time and talents to La Grande Bande as we launch this new programming initiative. We are incredibly grateful for their hard work and continued support of our vitally important mission for our community.

Video Publication Dates

Each LFH video’s publication date is listed as an event on our calendar. You can check the calendar for the sequence of releases and the piece(s) which will be performed on each video.

No tickets are required for these videos. Public access is available for video previews and program notes. For complete access, you will need to become a sustaining contributor. You can find out more about our Sustaining Contributor program below.

How do I get full access?

Only Sustaining Contributors will have full access to all of the LFH videos. Only previews of each video will be made public. (Learn more below.)

Sustaining Contributors pay a certain amount of money each month through our new membership platform. 

All payments are made through PayPal. You can read about their payment security here. (La Grande Bande does not receive access to any of your payment information.) If you don’t have a PayPal account, you’ll need to create one while you’re signing up to become a Sustainer.

You can easily upgrade, downgrade, pause, or cancel your Sustainer contribution at any time through your account dashboard.

LFH Fundraising Initiative 

The Live From Home videos are pre-recorded live in each of our musician’s homes (or in multiple homes for larger pieces). The videos are then uploaded to our YouTube channel AND to our new website.

La Grande Bande will make the Live From Home preview videos and all program notes available for public access. The preview videos will be a minimum of 2 to 3 minutes in length or an entire movement from larger works. All program notes will be publicly available.

Contributions received from Sustaining Contributors will be used to continue La Grande Bande’s regular programming like our

  • 2020-2021 season concerts
  • educational programming: masterclasses, outreach concerts, etc.

Musician stipends for performances and education are about 80% of La Grande Bande’s total operating expenses. The remainder of expenses are used for poster and program printing, instrument rental/transportation costs, and postage.

Many of our Live From Home musicians have donated their time for the series. Your contributions will allow us to pay them for their efforts in the Live From Home series or for future performances.

Sustainers get great benefits

Becoming a sustainer is super easy and takes less than 5 minutes. Your benefits don’t end with the LFH videos. The benefits for Sustainers is always evolving. When we started the program in January 2020, we had no idea we would do a LFH series.

Here’s a quick look at what you’ll get:

Director’s Blog

As a sustainer, you’ll also receive immediate access to the Sustainer’s portion of our Director’s Blog.

Every month our Music & Artistic Director writes a post about anything and everything, from how La Grande Bande has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic to how he finds inspiration for our concert programs.

Although these posts are made public, only Sustainers get the first look at what he writes.

Live From Home Series

Sustainers receive immediate and full access to all Live From Home series videos. There’s no need to worry about checking back, we’ll send you an email when we’ve posted a new video.

Surprise Benefits

Just within the last few months, we’ve invited our Sustainers to

  • attend closed rehearsals
  • attend a Contributors Thank You dinner (postponed until September?)
  • and so much more!

Finding calm in this storm

In these more difficult economic times, every dollar is crucial for survival—both yours and ours. Now, more than ever, making the decision to become a Sustaining Contributor can be a difficult one.

For just $5 per month, your Sustaining Contribution will help La Grande Bande continue to provide the excellent programming you’ve come to expect from us.

And, besides, there’s some really great perks for you when you sign up! Sign up to become a Sustainer today.