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The Day the Music Went Quiet in Siouxland, National Music Museum, Vermillion, SD

10 Oct

I found out recently that the National Music Museum located on the campus of the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD will be closing for two years for an expansion project of the museum that will add 16,000 square feet of additional space, which includes two floors and an underground level.

The National Music Museum ot the campus of the University of South Dakota, will be closing for a couple of years for expansion and renovation, seen at Vermillion, SD Tuesday, Oct. 2 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

From reading a press release and a current newsletter I found out that the 1910 former Carnegie Library expansion will include extra display area and a new performing space. The museum currently houses 15,000 instruments plus other material associated with them. It will be expanding its restoration area and be adding a dedicated research area.

I have visited the museum a few times taking advantage of free lunch time concerts that are presented there. A real treat to hear accomplished musicians perform their stuff. I especially like the Christmas concerts which gets a person into the mood for the season.

 

 

I will be sad not to hear a Christmas concert this year or next in the museum’s current performance space. It is small and intimate like a group of friends arriving at someone’s parlor to hear a performance. Performances will continue though at other venues on campus with a scheduled Christmas performance on the books. The expansion will benefit the museum though, and its continued service to the world of music and make a living art a little easier to ensure its future and enjoyment of music lovers.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Enjoying the Attractions at the Fair in Siouxland, Clay County Fair, Spencer

8 Oct

When I visited the Clay County Fair this fall it had been a couple of years I think. I tend to roam about the place looking at the sites and people and stopping by the photography exhibit which is fairly expansive. And it’s fun to see the talent that is presented at the fair. And when I am ready for a rest and a bit to eat, I find my food then look for a venue to enjoy it. There are always artists there sharing their talent. One such person I met is singer Jill Brees Bar, born and raised in Spencer, and with a gifted voice performs there singing ballads and other songs she says she is happy her children can listen to.

Singer Jill Brees Bar, of Spencer, does a quick Instagram post before performing at one the stages at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Singer Jill Brees Bar, of Spencer, shows off her boots before performing at one the stages at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Singer Jill Brees Bar, of Spencer, performs at one the stages at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

A saw a magician performing some interesting magic and having fun with the crowd. Comic Magician Jerry Frasier did some slight of hand, both doing his magic and also trying very hard to get a recalcitrant audience to react, even when his tricks seemed pretty amazing. It was a fun show to see.

Then I for a bit I watched an Elvis Tribute band perform, Forever Elvis, with singer Art Kistler and the EP Boulevard Show Band. I remarked to some people that even though the “King” himself had been dead for a few decades, his music and those performing it still packed in the crowd. Kistler was true to Elvis’ spirit and the audience responded and it was a nice way to spend part of the time at the fair.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

An Elvis Impersonator, Art Kistler and the EP Boulevard Show Band perform at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Though the King has been dead for many years, Elvis Impersonators, such as Art Kistler and the EP Boulevard Show Band, can still pack them in as they perform at the Clay County Fair in Spencer, Iowa Friday, Sept. 14, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

National Old Time Music Festival in Siouxland, Le Mars, Part 3

22 Sep

Within a seven day span there is a lot of music happening at the National Old Time Music Festival in Siouxland in Le Mars and which this and other posts can barely do justice. But it’s a nice event, geared for families and people who want to relax and hear some old timey music in an outdoor setting, weather permitting.

Visitors listen to some gospel singing during the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Musicians coordinate with one another to play back up for each other during the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

A number of performing coming from around the U.S. and other countries as well, to share their talent and play with others as each does his or her job in keeping alive music of another generation and era.

David Green, Avoca, second from right, sings and is accompanied by Terri Avery, Rowan, far left, Ed Tryon, Sioux City, second from left, and Fred Larson, South Omaha, NE, right, at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors listen to David Green, Avoca, second from right, sing and accompanied by Terri Avery, Rowan, far left, Ed Tryon, Sioux City, second from left, and Fred Larson, South Omaha, NE, right at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And with the talent that attends the festival the music has a good chance of remaining important and relevant in many people’s lives for years to come.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

National Old Time Music Festival in Siouxland, Le Mars, Part 2

14 Sep

 

The National Old Time Music Festival is an interesting find in Siouxland in that so many people make their way to a small community like Le Mars to attend. One such couple came from the Queensland area of Australia, Lloyd and Sue Back. He does folksy story telling through his songs and has produced a few albums and was receiving recognition at the festival and so they decided to attend. They said they were a little taken aback after their finally arrived in Le Mars because there was no taxi service and it took a little doing to get from their motel to the fairgrounds where the festival takes place. But being a small town, they found someone willing to drop them off as it was on their way to their own destination.

Lloyd Back, of Queensland, Austrailia performs at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Another gentleman who travels and performs but calls Austin, TX, home was relaxing before playing again. Barry Schmick talked about his love of his harmonicas and did a short demonstration as explained how each has its own particular niche. And one could tell he loves to play and hang with like-minded people as he could find at the festival.

Barry Schmick, Austin, TX, demonstrates some of his harmonicas at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Barry Schmick, Austin, TX, demonstrates some of his harmonicas at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Barry Schmick, Austin, TX, demonstrates some of his harmonicas at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Then it’s always a treat to see “local” people perform such as Elaine Peacock of Elk Point, SD, that is in Siouxland proper. Elaine quit her “real” job a few years ago to pursue full time her lover of music and has not looked back. You will see her performing around the area as well as donating her talent to fundraisers to help her local community. And she is always making new friends as people volunteer to play while she sings.

Elaine Peacock, Elk Point, SD, center, sings and is accompanied by other musicians during the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Elaine Peacock, Elk Point, SD, center, sings and is accompanied by other musicians during the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

There is such a feeling of family at the festival as people renew their acquaintances from previous years and make new friends. And probably make plans to see one another again at the next year’s get together.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

Musicians and visitors alike renew old friendships at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Vern Billingsley, Wyoming, center right on fiddle, performs with some friends at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors two-step to the music during a session at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

National Old Time Music Fest in Siouxland, Le Mars Part 1

10 Sep

Again this year the National Old Time Music Festival stopped by in Le Mars, Iowa for a week of traditional music that covers a lot or area. And of course people from all over attended both as musicians playing and people attending to listen. It’s a joy that such an event takes place in Siouxland and fun to hear the various styles of music performed by a variety of people.

 

The day I attended midweek saw fewer people attending than I remember when I last visited in 2015. But the audience still enjoyed what they saw and the performers who entertained them.

Laurie Miller, left, of Berkeley, CA, Cynthia DeMarco, center, of Boone, and Teressa Franklin of Wood River, NE performing at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Nancy and Allen Jenson of Heron Lake, MN, center left and right, perform and are accompanied by Mike Rysdal, seated left, Sioux City, Cozette Hemen, Alcester, SD, far right, and Terry Durr, Le Mars, seated back right at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Visitors listen to Wee Willie, right, perform with some friends at the 43rd annual National Old Time Music Festival at the Plymouth County Fairgrounds in Le Mars, Iowa Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And I had heard that the entire production of the festival may make a permanent move to Fremont, NE. Bob and Sheila Everhart began the festival a couple of decades ago keeping alive the tradition of playing live old time music.

There were so many performers that I will visit some more of them in the next few days, enjoying hearing live music waft over an open area on a nice summer’s day with some good folk who sat back and enjoyed.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Another Sunday in Siouxland, the Sioux City Municipal Band

17 Jul

I attended another local concert by the Sioux City Municipal Band. I was looking forward to seeing them play in another outside venue at Morningside College, the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where during the summer the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series are held. Except, in the advent of questionable weather.

Storm clouds hover over the area including the Buhler Outdoor Performance Center where the Sioux City Municipal Band was going to perform before moving indoors to the Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Again it had been storming in and around the immediate and other Siouxland area. And for caution, the event was moved into the Eppley Auditorium which is just around the corner from the outdoor venue.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

As always the band did a very nice program that included a solo performance by member Richard Bogenrief who did a trumpet solo, but also performed on a bugle a piece titled “The Bugler’s Lament” and accompanied by the band.

Solist Richard Bogenrief plays a bugle whie playing tHe Bugler’s Lament accompanied by the Sioux City Municipal Band as it performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Sioux City Municipal Band perform at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

And the set is never complete without their announcer, emcee Dave Madsen who reminds everyone who attends that he is keeping his day job, as his jokes generally receive the snare drum tribute that occurred in many burlesque routines of the day. With a loud cymbal thwack for resonance and exclamation. But combined these local folk present a couple of hours of listening melody and respite from the daily goings on that we all need an escape from time to time.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Emcee and host Dave Madsen introduces the next song as the Sioux City Municipal Band performs at Eppley Auditorium on the campus of Morningside College because of a rain forecast for the Betty Ling Tsang Summer Performance Series Saturday June 30, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Summer in Siouxland, Sioux City’s Municipal Band

23 Jun

 

During the summer months in Siouxland many small communities have local groups that perform free concerts for their residents. The Sioux City Municipal Band plays a summer concert series of eight performances on Sunday nights in Grandview Park which has a bandshell that was built during the 1930’s by the Civil Works Administration (CWA).

Summer concerts in general evoke an era of the play “Our Town” by Thornton Wilder. Mild evenings, light breeze and music drifting over the area, some more enthusiastic than others depending on the play bill for the evening. But always delightful.

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band warms up as patrons arrive before playing a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

People relax in their lawn chairs while listening to the Sioux City Municipal Band play a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Folk will bring picnic lunches as children run about and play and just joke in the evening as the sun settles on the horizon behind the bandshell and a nice way to start the week.

The Sioux City Municipal Band plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Patrons sit on the grass and in park seating as they listen to the Sioux City Municipal Band play a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©) 

And generally throughout the eight week series the music offerings appeal to most everyone’s taste. The band members should also be congratulated for giving of their time to rehearse and then play for its community. It makes something special about summer nights and small towns.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Patrons enjoy the Sioux City Municipal Band as it plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Sun sets as the Sioux City Municipal Band plays a concert in Grandview Park, Sunday June 10, 2018. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

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