The South of the River Community Band had its beginnings in 1990 as a dozen intergenerational church members from Savage, Minnesota who were interested in playing instrumental music for church services. After only a year, the band had a director and membership was opened to the community in order to draw a larger variety of instruments. For the first couple years the South of the River Community Band only had around fifteen instrumentalists consisting of the four core families and their teenage band student children. Soon, however, The South of the River Community Band was able increase participation in the musical experience the founding members found so enjoyable. The band began regularly securing performances at library openings, fairs, malls, historical tourist areas, community events, and nursing homes.
At this time, the South of the River Community Band was self–supporting with dues from the members. The band relied heavily on assistance from the community for its space to rehearse (a church), its sound equipment (borrowed), and its music. The local high schools were quite generous in allowing the band to borrow from their music libraries. Members scrounged garage sales and school sales for additional sources of band music and instruments. A band logo was designed and members purchased band polo shirts complete with the new logo for what was quickly becoming its year–round concert series.
As both membership and exposure to the band grew, the South of the River Community Band was able to purchase more of their own music. In December, 2002 we received tax–exempt status. Since that time, the band has gratefully received grants from various agencies and companies that have helped the band share its love of music throughout the south of the river community. The band is continually on the lookout for additional resources to purchase necessary equipment and to enhance and augment our musical selections.
Concerts in the early years were primarily for churches, community events, and nursing homes. By the spring of 1996 we played our first "Concert in the Park." This first concert has grown into an entire concert series each summer that includes most of the communities that are located "south of the river" and in recent years has enlarged to include several communities north of the river. In addition, the band also continues to perform for nursing homes and community events several times each year.
The South of the River Community Band is currently in a collaboration with School District 196 Community Education. As a result of their sponsorship, we have been able to move our rehearsals to Black Hawk Middle School and are excited to be able to rehearse in a real band room! The South of the River Community Band also sends many thanks to the communications team at District 196. Because of their hard work in bringing the South of the River Community Band into the public eye, the band is welcoming many new members and is able to accept many new concert opportunities.
Please check out the concert page to see where we will be performing next! We'd love to have you come listen to us at one of our upcoming concerts.