Mark Lammers and the Roseville Municipal Band

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Mark conducted a Roseville Municipal Band rehearsal around 1968, in the band room of Kellogg High School, which later became the Roseville Area Middle School, where the Roseville Community Band once again rehearses.
  Mark conferred with Bob Dynan (left), one of the Roseville Municipal Band members who also played in the stage band, one of the ensembles within the band Bigger picture is 30K.

On July 4, 1962, and again on July 4, 1963, Mark Lammers led a small group of professional musicians, paid for in part by union trust funds, playing marches and other selections in Roseville's Central Park to help the city celebrate Independence Day.

Shortly after the 1963 concert, Mark approached Frank Rog, the head of Roseville Parks and Recreation, and proposed an adult municipal band. He reasoned that there were enough good amateurs in the area to form a respectable band and perform not only on July 4 but at other times during the year as well, and that this band could help publicize the city's drive to raise money for completing the development of Central Park. Rog was very enthusiastic about the band, and Parks and Recreation supplied funding for music, equipment, and, eventually, a director's salary. However, a great deal of the band's early music and equipment were borrowed from Kellogg High School, where Mark taught.

To attract musicians to the new group, they advertised in the local paper. Others came from around the Twin City area. Many were personal friends of Mark Lammers. Richard "Doc" Leisen, tenor saxophonist, was among the local amateurs who welcomed the opportunity to play in an adult band. The musicians in the band donated their time, but on the other hand there were no fees for belonging to the band. Mark also donated his time, and the band members showed their appreciation by presenting him with a briefcase at one of the concerts.

The band charter indicated that rehearsals were to be held Monday evenings in January through April, June, July, and September through November, from 7:30–9:00 p.m. The statement of "Philosophy and Policy of Performance" said:

"This group is meant to be a performance opportunity for its members; there is no intention to compete with professional organizations."

The Roseville Municipal Band began in January, 1964. Mark Lammers led the group until 1970. In the meantime, he played in the Civic Orchestra of Minneapolis, Summer pops concerts at Lake Harriet, University of Minnesota Summer Symphony, Minneapolis Trombone Choir, Twin Cities Brass Ensemble Club, and did lots of freelance playing and conducting in the Twin Cities area.

The new adult band's first concert was held sometime in the spring of 1964, with the first main performance July 4, 1964. Indoor band concerts were in the Kellogg High School gym; there was no concert hall back then. There were no band shirts or logo in the early days; the instrumentalists wore white shirts and dark suits or dresses with bow ties for the men.

After about a year, Mark organized a stage band within the Roseville Municipal Band. It was one of several ensembles, along with a woodwind quintet, brass quartet, and brass sextet, that performed on Municipal Band concerts. The group generally practiced after band rehearsals at Kellogg High School, and initially all the stage band performers except an occasional "ringer" brought in to play string bass or piano were Municipal Band members. While Mark was director, the stage band joined the Municipal Band for selected concerts, such as the ones presented at Capitol View Junior High School on November 20, 1969, and March 19, 1970. On other concerts, such as the band's joint concert with the municipal bands of Brooklyn Center and Fridley, in the Kellogg High School gymnasium, February 18, 1968, there was no time for the small ensembles to play.

The stage band didn't play for dances or perform independently of the Municipal Band. However, the Municipal Band played on the same venue as some of the best known big bands of the day, when they provided pre-Ball entertainment 9:00–9:30 p.m. for the suburban balls held at Har-Mar Mall in the late 1960's:

October 7, 1967:
Up in Central Park Ball
Les Elgart and his Orchestra in the Main Hall, 9:30 p.m. to 1:00 a.m., with Doc Evans and his Dixieland Band in the lower concourse Cabaret Room.
October 19, 1968:
Japanese Gardens Ball
Ralph Marterie and his Orchestra in the Main Hall, 9:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., with the Hall Brothers Jazz Band in the lower concourse Susie Wong Room.
October 18, 1969:
Apollo Ball
Bob Crosby and his Orchestra in the Main Hall, 9:30 p.m. to 2:00 a.m., with the Harry Blons Dixieland Band in the lower concourse Launching Pad.

Mark Lammers was on the entertainment committee for these balls. The Municipal Band set up near the mall entrance and performed as patrons arrived for these elegant events that raised funds for Roseville's Central Park.

In 1970 Mark resigned from the Municipal Band when he became a full time faculty member at Gustavus Adolphus College. Frank Rog and the Parks and Recreation department selected Roger Sorenson as his successor to lead the Roseville Municipal Band.

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

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