Poster Vintage Brass Band Festival
Performers at the Vintage Brass Band Festival in Northfield, Minn.
Courtesy of the artists
Birge's Picks

Band in Northfield, Bard in Winona, Bel Canto in Brainerd

Three great summer festivals are starting – or ending – this week, all of them a great reason for a getaway.

Saturday, the Vintage Band Festival returns to Northfield, Minnesota. From vintage civil war era groups to British brass bands, even an oom-pah tuba quartet – more bands than you can shake a trombone slide at! 

Add a stop in Winona for the final week of this year’s Great River Shakespeare Festival. “As You Like It” and “The Winter’s Tale” make a great summer break.

After lingering in the Bard’s Forest of Arden, make thee haste to the Lakes Area Music Festival in Brainerd, which opens its 15th season under the theme “Bel Canto,” which puts “beautiful singing” front and center. This season’s opera is the light, summery comedy Don Pasquale.  The opening concert features Les nuits d’ete, (Summer Nights) by Berlioz, sung by Julia Bullock, a star from San Francisco Opera and Santa Fe Opera. Her husband Christian Reif conducts Brahms’ Symphony No. 2, a summer souvenir from the Austrian Alps. I’ll be there for pre-concert talks with both artists, so I hope to see you in Brainerd!

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This activity is made possible in part by the Minnesota Legacy Amendment‘s Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund.