GAYLORD, MN, NOVEMBER 1, 2021 — La Grande Bande’s third complete season continues this month with activities on Friday, November 19. The second season performance entitled The Early Symphony, will take place in Arlington at the Sibley East High School Auditorium.
“This concert will be like nothing anyone here has heard, especially because of the super unique instruments that will be here,” said La Grande Bande Music & Artistic Director Michael Thomas Asmus. “We’ve been wanting to do music that’s a bit newer,” he said chuckling. “I guess I should say it’s newer than what we played in September. Don’t get me wrong, everything we’ll be playing is still over 200 years old, but the music on this concert is about 50 years newer than what we performed in September.”
What makes the upcoming concert program so special are the types of instruments that will be playing: replicas of oboes and a bassoon from the 1760s and replicas of French horns from the same period without any valves. These instruments have never been performed or heard here before.
“Because La Grande Bande is a group that tries its best to play music with instruments and in a style Mozart and Haydn would recognize, it creates some unique challenges,” Asmus noted. “One of those challenges is finding players who have the correct instruments—either from that period or high-quality replicas of them—and who know how to play them. We’re lucky that we’ve been able to find players who fit both categories.”
La Grande Bande’s activities begin in the morning of September 17 with several Masterclass sessions for the band and choir students at Sibley East. In the afternoon, there’s a free Open Rehearsal Session from 3:00-5:00 in the auditorium. Beginning at 6:30, a pre-concert talk will be given by Burke Anderson, one of the French horn players, followed by the concert performance at 7:30. Tickets are required for to attend the pre-concert talk and the concert.
“It’s not just those wind instruments that are so different,” Asmus continued. “The violins, violas, cellos, and bass are playing on gut strings—made from animal intestines—and using special ‘transitional’ bows. It’s going to be a real treat.”
Tickets to the November 19 activities are $5 in advance and $7 at the door. To order tickets, visit www.lagrandebande.org/tickets or call 507-237-6539. Reserving tickets in advance is strongly encouraged. Seating for each concert is general admission. A ticket is required for admission to all pre-concert talks. LGB’s Open Rehearsal sessions remain free of charge and open to all.
COVID-19 statement: La Grande Bande is following CDC and MDH guidelines and encouraging attendees to wear a mask and to be fully vaccinated. Currently, proof of vaccination or a negative test are not required. All attendees must complete a verbal health screening before entering the performance or pre-concert talk. For the latest up-to-date information on LGB’s covid policy visit our website www.lagrandebande.org/covid.