The “Star of the North” Concert Band is a non-profit, charitable organization of over fifty musicians from the Minneapolis and St. Paul communities in Minnesota. The group was organized in 1994 to contribute to Minnesota’s musical tradition by providing an opportunity for local accomplished musicians to share their talents, develop their abilities, and make contacts with other performing musicians (locally, nationally, and internationally) via rehearsals, concerts, and tours.
“Star of the North” is the translation of the state of Minnesota’s official motto and nickname, “L’ Ã‰toile du Nord”, the French phrase which appears on the state seal and documents. Henry H. Sibley (1811-91) first state governor, included the motto as an update to the original 1849 Minnesota Territory seal when Minnesota became the 32nd state in 1858. At that time, Minnesota was the most northern state in the US and still is today within the contiguous 48 states.
The motto was intended to represent the North Star (Polaris) as a beacon of lofty idealism for the new government in the expanding United States along with the pragmatic spirit, determination, and courage of the French-speaking explorers, voyageurs, and “coureurs de bois” who played an important part in the early history of the land which became Minnesota.
The band performs a wide variety of music, including symphonic band arrangements, marches, classical works, dixieland, big band, musical theatre, original compositions, and instrumental with vocal solos.
Local performances have routinely included concert sites at Como Park and Landmark Center in St. Paul; Lake Harriet in Minneapolis; Mall of America in Bloomington; Edinborough Park and Centennial Lakes in Edina; and Central Park in Roseville. The band has also given many concerts at schools and churches in and around the Twin Cities area.
The band rehearses Wednesday evenings from 7:00 – 9:00 pm at Totino-Grace High School in Fridley under the direction of Wayne Feller and associate conductor Sandra Merry.