Sunday, August 29, 2010

Would you like to play?

Last year at this time I posted a list of different community music groups in the area, organized by the night of the week that they rehearse. Time to reprise that posting. If you have an instrument, and would like to play in a group, there are many to choose from in the Milwaukee Metro area. Here are some of the groups. And all of them would love to have a new member!

Sunday: There is one group rehearsing on Sunday evening, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Community Concert Band. The band is always looking for new members. If an audition is needed, it is in order to determine where a person would sit. The group performs a more traditional concert band repertoire, and performs most of the year. The group is lead by conductor Karen Lippert. Unfortunately the group does not have a web site at this time. If you're interested in more information, please send me an email and I'll forward it to the conductor.

Monday: There is a community orchestra rehearsing on Monday evenings, the Menomonee Falls Symphony, directed by Mike Kamenski. Auditions are required. The group performs traditional symphony orchestra works. To get more information, see the web site:

Tuesday: There are three groups rehearsing on Tuesday evening: the Wauwatosa Community Band, the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band, and the Milwaukee Festival Brass, the area's only British style brass band.First, the Wauwatosa Community Band is sponsored in part by the Wauwatosa Parks and Rec department and welcomes any and all players. Their concerts are lighter in nature with some more serious works for band. They also have a jazz ensemble, with many players performing in both groups. See their web site for more information: http://www.arcfile/com/tosaband/

Also on Tuesday is the Waukesha Area Symphonic Band. WASB performs more serious works and more difficult works for band. Auditions are required. Their web site is

Finally on Tuesday is the Milwaukee Festival Brass directed by Dr. Patricia Backhaus, one of my favorite groups. If you are a brass or percussion player, this group offers something different from most community groups as the instrumentation is that of a traditional British Brass Band. The music is a wide variety from Pops favorites to very difficult brass band competition pieces. Auditions are required. See the web site for more info:

Wednesday: There are three groups rehearsing on Wednesday evening: the Sudler Award Winning Knightwind Ensemble, the Lakeshore Symphonic Band, and the Milwaukee American Legion Band. The Legion band is modeled on the traditional patriotic military band. Not sure if they require auditions. Please see the web site for more information:

The Lakeshore Symphonic Band is located in Ozaukee County in Grafton. Their performances are at the Cedarburg Arts Center. You can get more information from their web site:

The Knightwind Ensemble also rehearses on Wednesday evening. The Ensemble specializes in performing newer works for band and wind symphony. Their web site has the list of the pieces performed in concert over the past 10 years plus, and it includes international award winning pieces. Auditions are required, and the band will add you to the waiting list if the section is full. See the web site for more information: The Ensemble received the Sudler Silver Scroll from the John Philip Sousa Foundation in December of 2005. Of the tens of thousands of community bands eligible for the award, the Knightwind Ensemble is one of 37 groups to EVER receive the award. Quite the accomplishment!

Thursday: Three groups rehearse on Thursday evening. The first is the Milwaukee Concert Band. As they do not have a web site, it is difficult to get information about the group. However, if you are interested in a Thursday rehearsal, send me an email and I will make sure that the director receives it.

Also rehearsing on Thursday is the Suburban Concert Band in West Allis, and the Greendale Village Band. The Suburban Concert Band's site is at This group, like Tosa Band, also has a jazz ensemble.

The Greendale Village Band does not have a web site. However, the Wisconsin Music Group Band list at has contact information for them.

And that wraps up the list of community music groups in the Milwaukee area. If I missed one that you know of, please email me or add a comment to the post. I'll be sure to add it to the list.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The summer is winding down

Other than the final concerts by the Racine Concert Band at the Racine Zoo (see last week's post for details), the summer concerts are now a thing of the past. It was a very good summer with many wonderful concerts. I hope you were able to enjoy many of them.

I will be working to assemble the calendar of concerts for the 2010-2011 season for the community bands in the area. I hope to publish the calendar on Sunday September 5. Next week is a list of the community bands in the area, for those who would like to join a group and play.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Final concerts in Racine

Just a reminder this week that the last of the summer community band concerts is being offered on Sunday evenings at the Racine Zoo. The Racine Concert Band is completing another summer series of concerts at the Zoo amphitheater right on the lake. Bring a chair or a blanket, maybe a snack or a beverage, and enjoy a concert under the stars. Don Rosen from WRJN is your host!

On August 15, the band welcomes mezzo soprano Allison Hull, who will perform tunes by George and Ira Gershwin. And Eric Weiss will solo on Leroy Anderson's Trumpeters Lullaby.

The music of the Big Bands will be featured on August 22, featuring the jazz stylings of Jeannie Hatfield, former Miss Racine and Miss Wisconsin.

Finally, on August 29, soprano Aimee Miller joins the band to perform Bless This House and Who Will Buy My Lavender. Saxophonist Margaret Schwingle will perform Come Sunday by Duke Ellington.

Don't miss these final concerts in the 2010 Summer Series by the Racine Concert Band.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Last two concerts in Lake Country

This week's post is a reminder that there are two concerts left in the summer season for the Hartland Community Band.

The first is Wednesday August 18 at 7:30 PM at the Band Shell in Oconomowoc. The other concert is the next evening, Thursday August 19 at 7:00 PM in Nixon Park in Hartland.

Then the Hartland Community Band takes a break until their Christmas Concert in December at Holy Hill. More on that later.

For all of you in the western suburbs, be sure to take in one of these two concerts. And for more information, see the band's web site:

Sunday, August 1, 2010

State Fair to feature State Marching Bands

The Wisconsin State Fair will showcase a number of Wisconsin's top marching bands on Sunday August 15 at 3 PM. This years show marks a continuation of the partnership between the State Fair and the Wisconsin School Music Association.

Unfortunately I have not been able to find the list of the different bands that will be performing that afternoon. If I can get that information, I'll post it as soon as I can. UPDATE 8/3: The poster for the event can be found at this link:

However, a Sunday afternoon with marching bands and cream puffs seems like a day in heaven to me. Be sure to mark you calendar. If you'd like to order tickets, here is the link:

And if you are not able to attend the state fair that day, be sure to support the school bands performing throughout every day at the fair. Those musicians are the future of our community bands and orchestras.