Q: How did the Roseville Big Band get started?
A: In 1964, Mark Lammers, the Kellogg High School band director, formed the Roseville Municipal Band, with the sponsorship of the Roseville Parks and Recreation Department. About a year later, he formed a stage band within the larger group. The stage band performed only on Municipal Band concerts until director Bob Lancette began scheduling the stage band for concerts and dances independent of the larger group. Bob began directing the Municipal Band in 1976, and under his leadership, it was renamed the Community Band while the stage band became the Jazz Ensemble and finally the Big Band. Eventually, in 1988, the two organizations evolved into separate musical groups with different directors, both supported by the Roseville Parks and Recreation Department.
Q: What kinds of events does the band play for?
A: Each year the band plays several public concerts and dances as well as private concerts at nursing homes and class reunions and other private dinner-dance engagements within the Twin Cities (Minneapolis and St. Paul) and surrounding suburbs. Our clients also include churches, civic organizations, and businesses.
Q: How many people are in the Roseville Big Band?
A: Our music library is written for 17 instrumentalists: five saxes (two alto, two tenor, and baritone, also doubling on clarinet, flute, and other saxes), four trumpets (who also double on flugelhorns), four trombones (three tenor trombones and bass trombone), and rhythm section (piano, bass, guitar, and drums). Director Glen Newton often plays vibraphone, creating parts that complement or strengthen the sax and brass lines, even though there is no written part. With vocalist Karen Dunn, the band numbers 19 musicians. Because we strive for accurate balance within the band to meet the expectations of our audiences, we have one person playing each part. Occasionally we'll add instrumentalists, for example when an arrangement call for another trumpeter or trombonist. In addition, a number of our musical selections call for a vocal quartet, and we often feature the Rosetones as guest artists. Because Glen and Karen are members of the quartet, this brings the total band size to 21 or more.
Q: Can I play in the Roseville Big Band?

Opportunities to play with the band fall into five categories:

  • First, we have two sit-in nights each year, during which we ignore the one-person-per-part guideline and invite any interested community instrumentalists to join us for the fun of playing in the band.
  • Second, we maintain an active list of substitutes who fill in when one of the band members cannot attend a rehearsal or performance.
  • Third, we try to feature outstanding guest soloists at summer concerts; these are nearly always singers or instrumentalists who have graduated from local high schools within the past year or two.
  • Fourth, when a band member resigns, we fill the full-time position from our roster of substitutes.
  • Fifth, there is the fun of being a guest Latin percussionist at one of our live concerts.
Q: Where do you practice?
A: We practice in the dining room of St. Michael's Lutheran Church, 1660 W. Co. Rd. B in Roseville, about a block and a half west of Snelling Ave. N. The dining room is in the southeast corner of the church, next to the parking lot. Click here for a map (23K).
Q: I loved your first CD! Do you have plans for another?
A: In March, 1999, and April, 2000, we recorded several songs for a second CD. We re-released the original Concert in the Park CD with eight of these songs as bonus tracks: Concert in the Park (+8). If we can find the time required for mixdown, booklet creation, performing rights licensing, and production, we may be able to release another CD that includes other songs from those sessions and possibly from selected live performances.
Q: I've seen a television crew at your concerts. What channel are the concerts on, and how can I find out when they'll be broadcast?
A: Many of our performances are televised by volunteer producers and crew from the public access television organization CTV 15. Our televised events are shown on Channel 15 in the cities served by the North Suburban Communications Commission: Arden Hills, Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Little Canada, Mounds View, New Brighton, North Oaks, Roseville, St. Anthony and Shoreview. Because we have live cable feeds to the transmitter from Central Park and Roseville Area High School, we broadcast live from those locations, but in addition the performances are recorded for later playback. Call (651) 481-9554 for playback times. You can also check the Channel 15 programming schedule via the web.
Q: I live outside the ten-city area that your performances are normally broadcast on. How can I see you on my local public access channel?
A: If you live in a different franchise area but would like to see the Roseville Big Band's concerts and dances on your local public access station, have the station contact Tim Domke at CTV 15, (651) 481-9554, and he can arrange to get them a copy to broadcast.
Q: My kid was one of your guest percussionists for a concert I saw on TV. How can I get a copy of the recording?
A: The best way to get a copy is to record it from the television broadcast. If that is not possible, call CTV at (651) 481-9554 and inquire about getting a dub from the master recording (which could be either a tape or a DVD). If the master has not yet been recycled, you can get a copy made on a tape or DVD you provide for a dubbing fee.
Q: Can the band play for my wedding reception, company party, or class reunion?
A: The Roseville Big Band plays for a limited number of private functions each year to raise funds to help pay for our music, equipment, and other expenses. We have a general rule of thumb that we only perform for one, or occasionally two, events per month to avoid burnout. We are happy to consider your request, but we ask you to keep in mind that we are often booked more than a year in advance. If we cannot perform at your event we can recommend some of the other fine bands that play in the Twin Cities area.
Q: What facilities does the band need for a performance?
A: The Roseville Big Band needs a minimum of 24' x 24' to set up. If you plan to set up a dance floor, it should be no closer than 24 feet from the wall behind the band. If you would like us to play on a raised stage area, we can fit on a 24' x 24' stage if the entire stage is at the same height; a tiered stage requires more room from front to back.

We bring our own music stands, but we need 19 flat-bottom armless chairs. We also need a secure place to put our cases and coats, out of sight of the audience. Our electrical power requirements are modest, since only the bass, guitar, piano, lights, and PA system need electricity.

We need access to the performance area during the 60 to 90 minutes before we perform, so we can move in our equipment and set up. With a totally volunteer group, we do not have the option of setting up earlier in the day, leaving for a few hours, and coming back to perform at night. If the performance is in a hotel or other facility whose loading dock you would like us to use, you must make sure that the dock is open and the path for moving carts full of equipment from the dock to the band's performance area is clear on the evening of the performance.
Q: We don't have room for the whole band. Can you bring just part of the band?
A: We do not have the music repertoire that would allow us to play with just part of the band. As the title of one of our songs says, it's "All or Nothing At All". However, if you need a combo to play during dinner before the whole band performs, we can sometimes provide one.
Q: Is there a combo or smaller group from the band that can play for after-dinner entertainment?
A: The Rosetones vocal quartet can perform separately from the band, using recorded accompaniment. Other ensembles from the band are also sometimes available to provide after-dinner entertainment.

To learn more about the Roseville Big Band, read our rarely asked questions (RAQs).
For answers to questions about the audio excerpts on this web site, read our Audio FAQs

This page was last updated
Friday, February 07, 2020.

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