Poster The Minnesota State Band, led by Keith Liuzzi.
The Minnesota State Band is led by Keith Liuzzi.

Minnesota State Band concert celebrates 166 years of statehood

The Minnesota State Band, only 40 years younger than the state of Minnesota, will honor the 166th anniversary of statehood with a free concert on May 11 at the Minnesota History Center.

The band, an all-volunteer ensemble of up to 55 players that’s led by conductor Keith Liuzzi, is the only remaining state band in the country. Although it has toured internationally over the past few decades, its primary mission is “providing high quality music to the residents of Minnesota.”

“One of my jobs is to create programs of music that will inspire and entertain our audiences and that the band members enjoy playing,” Liuzzi said.

To that end, the concert — with the theme of "History, Pageantry, Variety" — will include the winner of the band’s sponsored competition, Glen Newton’s Flag and Seal. The work commemorates the recent adoption of the new Minnesota emblems.

Other selections on the program include Claudio Grafulla’s Washington Grays (first performed by the band more than 100 years ago), Philip Sparke’s Jubilee Overture, Julie Giroux’s One Life Beautiful, and classics by John Phillip Sousa, Camille Saint-Saëns and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The band will follow up the anniversary concert with a Memorial Day concert at Como Park Pavilion on May 27. Summer concerts include performances in Northfield (July 27), Shakopee (Aug. 1) and back to Como Park on Aug. 7 and 14. A holiday concert will be performed Dec. 13 in Maple Grove.

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