The Roseville Big Band is comprised of volunteers who perform for the enjoyment of making good music and entertaining our audiences. In a typical year, we perform for more than 6000 live audience members in 12 to 15 performances, including concerts in parks, schools, and nursing homes. Many additional viewers see our live broadcasts and rebroadcasts on channel 15, CTV North Suburbs.
We also play for dances, including charity fundraisers, class reunions, wedding receptions, and the Commemorative Air Force's USO-style hangar dances. In an updated version of the famous live radio broadcasts from ballrooms across the nation, the "Dance of the Decades" fundraising event for the Roseville Area Arts Council was broadcast live on public access television channel 15 from the Roseville Area High School cafeteria. This variety of performance venues inspired the words to a Roseville Big Band original song: "Dance to the Big Band Swing".
Our repertoire includes a century of standards, both instrumental and vocal, plus new compositions and arrangements written especially for us. Although swing tunes such as In the Mood make up the largest part of our repertoire, we also perform ballads such as Star Dust and Skylark. We generally reserve songs such as My Romance , which switches from slow ballad to up-tempo Latin rock and back, for our concerts.
We try to increase our concerts' audience appeal by adding special features: band members playing solos from within the audience; horn moves; musical "duels", such as the trombone family feud (bass, tenor, and soprano trombones) on our recording of Woodchopper's Ball ; guest soloists, including talented graduates of Roseville Area High School; and a variety of solo instruments, from piccolo to bass sax. Most of our arrangements include improvisation, making each performance unique.
Our sponsorship by the Roseville Parks and Recreation Department ever since Dr. Mark Lammers started the group in 1964 makes us unique in an era of increasing numbers of professional and school-sponsored big bands.
Dancers Larry and Betty Thomas and the adult swing dance exhibition groups Rhythm & Swing and Swing Cats have enlivened many of our concerts and dances, performing to songs such as Rock Around the Clock and Woodchopper's Ball. The Rosetones often appear with the band and add their four-part vocal harmonies to songs such as Somebody Loves Me and Georgia on My Mind .
Our audiences participate not only by dancing but by playing maracas and other Latin percussion instruments with the band on songs such as Cha Cha Cha for Judy and Besame Mucho. Audiences also have fun joining us on the hi-de-hos of Minnie the Moocher and shouting out that famous telephone number: Pennsylvania 6-5000.
With its exposure on National Public Radio, CD sales to individuals in several other states and countries, and visitors to this web site from dozens of countries, the band reaches out beyond Minnesota's Twin Cities to fans of big band music around the world.
To learn more about the Roseville Big Band, read our frequently asked questions (FAQs) and rarely asked questions (RAQs), see the names of some of our clients, read what people have said about the band, learn about Roseville Big Band traditions, and delve into the history of the organization.