Chris Frenz, who typically serves as the master of ceremonies for the Festival, interviewed the 2019 North Iowa Band Festival King Jacob VerHelst (Central Springs) and Queen Alana Noss (Rockford) to see what they have been up to since last year's festival, their musical experience, and their memories of Band Fest.
In honor of Meredith Willson’s birthday and the North Iowa Band Festival, Mason City High School Drum Majors paid a tribute at Elmwood Cemetery. Senior Drum Major Bailey Gunderson, Junior Drum Major Shaye Theobald, and Chamber staff practiced social distancing during the memorial to Willson.
A short program took place at 9AM on Monday, May 18 at Willson’s renovated gravesite. The North Iowa Band Festival began as a simple celebration of North Iowa’s musical heritage. Now, in its eighth decade, it has grown to a large community festival, complete with a parade, variety of entertainment, marching band competitions, and carnival and is traditionally held over Memorial Day weekend. This year, 2020, is the first time since WWII that the festival activities have been cancelled.
A recording is posted below and on the Band Festival and Chamber Facebook pages. More information on the 2020 North Iowa Band Festival cancellation can be found here.
Due to the wind and social distancing, the sound quality is subpar. To view the program script, click here.
RIVER CITY RAP
Ever heard an actor by the name of Hugh? Hugh? Hugh? Yes! Just a minute, just a minute, just a minute. River City LOVES that actor Hugh. But he doesn’t know the territory. Doesn’t know the territory?! He’s the music man, going to play Harold Hill with Sutton Foster, and the big trombones, and the rat-a-tat drum, and the big brass bass. River City wants him! Yes, sir. Yes, sir. We will show him the territory!
THE REAL RIVER CITY
Hugh Jackman. Mr. Huuuuugh Jackman. What can we do, my dear, to catch your ear? We want you madly, madly Mr. Hugh Jackman, the music man. Oh, there’s nothing halfway about the Iowa way we’d treat you, when we treat you, when you come visit us all!
What words could be saner or truer or plainer than it’s Hugh, it’s Hugh. Yes, it’s Hugh. Oh, yes it’s Hugh.
WISH HUGH WERE HERE
Come learn about River City in a way a select few, like our own Meredith Willson, have experienced... as the Grand Marshal of our North Iowa Band Festival Parade! Yes, the very parade that inspired the award-winning film, The Music Man. Visit the REAL River City, where musical heritage is deep in our roots and is celebrated in the annual North Iowa Band Festival.
The 81st Band Festival was another one for the books! Take a look at all the fun that was had in "River City", Memorial weekend of 2019!