Tag Archives: music

A Pause in Activities in Siouxland, Grandview Park, Sioux City

17 May

A stormy looking day creates contrast in Grandview Park in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The current pandemic, COVID-19 or the coronavirus as some prefer, has caused many people and places to hit the pause button here in Siouxland. For many activities. And like elsewhere, as various political bodies and people decide what time is right for folk to plunge back into “normalcy”, there will be many missing local events. Already high school graduations are being posted online and not held at the various schools with throngs of parents and friends cheering as students cross the finish line, er stage. It seems since May is already here, there will be few Memorial Day celebrations throughout the Siouxland region.

Fans enjoy the performance of The Dirty Heads playing at the 23rd annual Saturday in the Park music festival in Sioux City, Iowa, July 6, 2013.

A couple events I will miss seeing happen in Grandview Park in Sioux City. The Sioux City Municipal Band playing consecutive Sunday evening concerts and the perennial Saturday in the Park music festival. Both are free to those attending. SITP draws people from all over, as big name entertainers perform along with up and comers.

MELISSA ETHERIDGE performs during the 23rd annual Saturday in the Park music festival in Sioux City, Iowa, July 6, 2013.

 

MELISSA ETHERIDGE performs during the 23rd annual Saturday in the Park music festival in Sioux City, Iowa, July 6, 2013.

The park’s bandshell was built during the depression years by the Civilian Conservation Corps and has hosted many events. On a pleasant summer’s eve it is a nice place to sit and relax, even with a few hundred of your rowdy friends, depending on the program.

A family enjoys the Sioux City Municipal band as it plays a medley of songs at the Bandshell in Grandview Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday July 5, 2015. (Photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

But keeping one’s distance at these events would be impossible, no almost about it.

The Sioux City Municipal band plays a medley of patriotic songs at the Bandshell in Grandview Park in Sioux City, Iowa, Sunday July 5, 2015. (Photo by Jerry Mennenga©)

And so the park will sit quiet for a few months. No music to enliven its environs or bring smiles and memories to those attending. It’s hard to imagine outdoor or indoor concerts happening any time soon. Outdoor would be safer, but there just isn’t enough space.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

A quiet, tempest looking day in Grandview Park in Sioux City, Iowa Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Enjoying Food, Music and Hot Cars in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

24 Sep

Muscle and vintage cars fill the downtown area during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

While out looking for another event one weekend I stumbled upon a community’s celebration of food, music and muscle or classic cars, something which has been going on for years but I had no clue.

Vermillion’s Rib, Rod and Rock and Roll Fest started off a little soggy but didn’t dampen people’s enthusiasm to enjoy themselves as they strolled the downtown area looking at classic cars and eating. The latter always a favorite past time of mine.

One car owner makes a second attempt after a rain shower to keep her vehicle looking spotless during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One car owner makes a second attempt after a rain shower to keep her vehicle looking spotless during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

There was a rib cooking contest and for a fee people could help judge the various cook’s results and come away with a full tummy. Unfortunately since I had been out looking for an event I came to find out had been cancelled because of rain, I missed that part of the festival. But I feasted on the smell of what must have been a sumptuous chance to give input on smoked ribs.

Tables were at the ready for hungry folk checking out the food vendors and bbq rib making contestants during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Attendees of the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

People ate, walked about looking over the cars and listening to music then ate some more and repeated steps 2 and 3. And everyone got into the mood, even a cute little guy that put up with his mistress and seemed to take the day in stride.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

One cutie took in passers-by during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

One attendee of the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival makes his point about the event in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Storm clouds still hovered nearby during the Ribs, Rods, and Rock ‘n Roll Festival in Vermillion, SD check out some muscle cars Saturday, September 7, 2019. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Summer Concerts in the Park in Siouxland, Sioux City Municipal Band

13 Aug

Summer is that season everywhere and here in Siouxland as well when all want a chance to relax and enjoy local festivities and other forms of entertainment. The local Sioux City Municipal Band has been playing summer concerts for a number of years. It’s a free event and people can bring lawn chairs, pack a snack or summer and sit back and enjoy the sounds which can include patriotic tunes, show tunes, movie tunes and classical tunes. Although I am sure music aficionados would not refer to the music as tunes.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The musicians themselves spend the time to practice and then play these summer evenings which occasionally can include thunderstorms and most likely hot and humid nights towards the end of July. But they persevere as well as perspire like the rest of us, they just don’t show it. But it’s a nice event for local residents and those visiting family over the summer months. The 8-week long series varies with the music selection year to year. But their performance never varies, always enjoyable.

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

Something residents can look forward too again next year now that the last performance has come and gone and as parent’s thoughts return to the coming school year and others to autumn season which is just around the corner. Instead of hearing the municipal band’s music wafting over the neighborhood Sunday nights, some will begin hearing marching band music Friday nights as the local high school football season kicks off and a different kind of entertainment marks another season of its own.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The Sioux City Municipal Band performs at the Band Shell in Grandview Park as part of a free summer entertainment series Sunday, July 14, 2019. Photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

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©)

Singer Andy Williams born in Siouxland, Wall Lake

16 May

 

I am always somewhat amazed but also delighted when I find a bit of nostalgia and history tidbits as I drive about Siouxland. One of those tidbits is the fact that the singer and entertainer Andy Williams was born in the small community of Wall Lake, roughly about 800 people. His birthplace and home for the first eight years of his life is now a restored show place in the community and maintained by the Wall Lake Historical Society.

An autographed photo of himself, Andy Williams, sits on an end table at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Members of the Wall Lake, IA, Historical Society Esther Bielema, seated, and Janice Determann, standing at the singer Andy Williams’ birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

The day I visited the home I was greeted by a couple of enthusiastic members of the society and fans of Mr. Williams, Esther Bielema and Janice Determann. While the home is not filled from floor to ceiling with memorabilia, it is full of all sorts of historical items about the singer and his family and basically a shrine to a small town boy who made it big.

The birthplace of singer Andy Williams sits atop a hill overlooking downtown Wall Lake, Iowa, Friday, April 18, 2014. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Singer Andy Williams, left, with his parents Jay and Florence Williams appearing in one of his Christmas TV Specials on display at the singer’s birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

Various photographs of singer Andy Williams adorn the walls of his birthplace in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

 

The downstairs bedroom where Wall Lake Historical Society member Esther Bielema and others believe that singer Andy Williams was born in 1934 at his birthplace home in Wall Lake, Iowa, Sunday July 16, 2017. (photo by Jerry L Mennenga©)

I can remember growing up that my parents watched the Andy Williams’ Christmas Specials on TV and while I don’t believe they had any of his records, the songs he sang are well known and include such hits as “Moon River”, “Abraham, Martin and John”, “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Dear Heart”, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Born Free”.

While there a woman from Des Moines stopped in and walked about the home in awe. For Bielema and Determann the joy of the grand opening when Williams and his wife attended along with other family must have been a thrill they still feel today. History comes alive in places like this mostly because of those who help visitors enjoy it. And one never knows where other historical facts may pop up, but it’s nice to know such gems are still around to find.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

Municipal Band in Siouxland, Sioux City

7 Jul

Sioux City’s, Iowa, Municipal Band plays every Sunday evening in Grandview Park at the Bandshell, at least until July 27. The bandshell was built during the WPA days during the Depression in the 1930’s. It’s a nice venue and the music emanates out and fills the space with sound. This past 4th of July weekend the Municipal Band played a number of Americana songs, the themes to the various armed services and Aaron Copeland’s Theme for the common man. It’s a nice venue and families bring their kids and sit and listen for 1.5 hours enjoying the ambience and a practice dating back a few decades when families and couples spent a Sunday afternoon or evening just enjoying the day.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

 

 

Christmas in Siouxland, Vermillion, SD

12 Dec

I attended a brown bag lunch performance last week in Siouxland at the National Music Museum at the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, where the South Dakota Brass Quintet played some classical selections and some Christmas tunes. Group leader Rolf Olson said the group has been playing together the last 20 years, albeit with changing members in recent years. He said all of the members teach at USD, though not all in the school’s music department.

Dr. Deborah Reeves, Curator of Education and Woodwinds of the Music National Music Museum and Associate Professor of Music at USD said a new schedule is out for the brown bag lunch programs for 2014.  The spring 2014 programs are always scheduled for Fridays, 12:05- 12:55 p.m. at the National Music Museum and is free to everyone. January 24: Wilson and McKee, folk duo, Colorado;  January 31: to be announced; February 7: Was There a Piccolo Before Stars and Stripes?, USD’s  Stephanie Kocher with University of Nebraska-Omaha’s Christy Beard;  February 14: Wayne Weng, 2013 Iowa Piano Competition Winner; February 21: A Touch Of Brass, brass quintet, Nebraska;  March 7: Mat D, guitar and Americana singer, Sioux City;  March 21: In Stile Antico, NMM’s  John Koster in a lecture demonstration; March 28: Jack Norton, co-creator and co-star of “The Zinghoppers” PBS-TV series, featuring music of vaudeville jug bands;  April 4:  USD Percussion Ensemble Plays the NMM’s Guatemalan Marimbas;  April 11: Dick Kimmel, early country music master, Minnesota;  April 25: Winds of Change, USD and NMM alumna Amy Shaw, Irish flute, Minneapolis; and May 2: The National Music Museum’s Kyai Rengga Manis Everist Gamelan.

 

 

The museum itself is worth a trip and time to spend walking through numerous exhibits of musical instruments from around the world. That is, the New World, and Old World. Wind instruments, brass, Asian, South Pacific, American, rock and jazz as well pianos and variations thereof can be found there.

 

And there will be many more programs occurring in the next couple of weeks as churches and schools and choirs from the area present their holiday finest sharing the Christmas spirit in song and mirth and their brotherly love about the birth of a Savior.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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