History of Sousa Band
The First John Philip Sousa Band was formed in 1970 by a group of graduates from Edina High School. Our goal is to recapture the spirit of bands at the turn of the twentieth century, where the band was an integral part of the community. We play music that was played and performed in the early part of the twentieth century as well as some newer music. The newer music must capture the same "magic" as the old music.
The band consists of 40 musicians who volunteer their talents. They include our conductor, piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bass clarinet, bassoon, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, and percussion.
Sousa Band is sponsored by the City of Edina's Park and Recreation Department. Through this sponsorship, the City provides the band with a rehearsal room at Centennial Lakes, performance space at Edinborough Park and Centennial Lakes Park, uniforms, a truck to transport equipment to concerts, and music.
We play an average of twelve concerts each summer in Edina and surrounding communities including Como Park Pavilion in St. Paul, Hopkins, Excelsior, and Bloomington. Summer concerts are performed under the auspices of the concert-in-the-park series, typically sponsored by the Park and Recreation Department of each city.
Edinborough Park concerts include fun, music, and entertainment for audience members and band members alike. Our peanut vendor tosses bags of salted-in-the-shell peanuts to the crowd. A paper airplane toss closes each concert at the park. We award two audience members with prizes.
for Other Groups Like Ours
We're particularly interested when we hear of a group that shares the same enthusiasm for period music. This music, typically out of print, is difficult to find. Chatfield's town band, located in Chatfield, Minnesota, is just such a group. We're fortunate to have the Chatfield Band and its lending library in our state. We actively support their efforts through use of their lending library. Several members of our band contribute to their organization individually.
and Decision Makers
Sousa Band members come from the many communities we serve. All are college students and adults who are engaged in various professions. Including the director, all members are volunteer and are not paid for their rehearsal and performance time. When possible, decisions are made by the entire group during rehearsals. Since Sousa Band is an on-going organization, we're together once each week throughout nearly the entire year. For this reason, decisions are readily handled during a rehearsal. However, when needed, the "crew" meets to discuss direction and decisions that must be flushed out before being presented to the entire group.
We rehearse and perform year-round. Rehearsals take place every Sunday evening from 7:00-9:00PM in Park Headquarters in Centennial Lakes. We perform monthly concerts at Edinborough Park in Edina. Our rehearsal room is more than 2,000 square feet, and is owned by the City of Edina. It is equipped with music and instrument storage, permanent risers, tap dance floor, uniform storage, and music storage and sorting areas.