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St. Johnsbury Band Celebrates 175th Anniversary

The St. Johnsbury Band celebrates its 175th anniversary in 2005. The Band, founded in 1830, is the third oldest community band in the nation. It has been in continuous operation since it was founded.

Our first special concert event of this anniversary year will be our performance at Vermont History Expo 2005. The Vermont History Expo 2005 is being held at the Tunbridge World's Fair Grounds in Tunbridge, Vermont. We are scheduled to play at 12:00pm.

Another highlight of this years celebration will be the Band's participation in the first Lake George Band Festival on Saturday, July 23rd in Lake George, NY. The festival will be held in the Shepard Park Amphitheatre overlooking the lake.

The festival features nine bands from Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, and Vermont starting at noon. The St. Johnsbury Band plays at 5:00pm. There will be a combined band performance at 3:00pm with members from all of the participating bands. The rain location is Lake George High School.

Boom! Boom! Boom! Band Needs a New Bass Drum

Boom!...Boom!...Boom! That is the sound every community band loves to hear - the steady beat of the bass drum. That beat is one of the things that really holds a band together, keeps the music sharp and crisp, and is absolutely necessary for a band to shine.

The St. Johnsbury Band has been in desperate need of a new bass drum. Our old drum is in such sad shape we can no longer patch it up to produce a decent sound. It looks like we've been using it since 1830, when the Band came into existence.

Bass drums are expensive but it is an investment that can last for 50 years, if the instrument is cared for properly. The Band asked for help from the community and the response was tremendous! We received donations totaling $720 and now have our new bass drum!


The Band purchased a 14x28" Pearl concert bass drum. The bass drum is made of mahogany, giving it a deeper, resonating tone. It has Fiberskin heads used for concert and symphonic bass drums, giving it warmer tonal qualities similar to calfskin, instead of the plastic heads used on marching drums. Fiberskin is also less susceptible to temperature and humidity avoiding a dead "thud" sound in very humid weather. We also plan to use a traditional muffling strip instead of a foam ring to achieve a more authentic sound and appearance.

The Band puchased two new mallets to use with the new bass drum. One mallet is a general purpose mallet. The second mallet is a special "roller" mallet used for bass drum rolls.

The Band wishes to thank the following for their generous donations to our bass drum fund: David Eliassen, Wayne Fearon, Dave Hare, Anne Jenks in memory of Charles R. Jenks, Scott Labun, Mildred Lewis, Jim McGregor, Maybell Peck, Dave Rau, Marion Reed in memory of James Lumbra, Richard Reed, Kathleen Scott, Jeanette Wheelock, and Ella Ziter. The Band also wishes to thank these groups for their donations: the Green Mountain Grange #1 and the Patenaude Trust Fund.

The Band invites you to come out, hear our new bass drum, and enjoy all our concerts this season!

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