The Medalist Concert Band, a volunteer group comprised of 70 Twin Cities–area musicians, was founded in the fall of 1968. The purposes of the band are (1) to provide adult musicians with an opportunity to perform; (2) to provide Bloomington and the surrounding area with outstanding musical concerts; and (3) to provide young musicians with a model of music as a lifelong hobby. Since its founding, the Medalist Concert Band has given over 850 performances, many of them with high school and college bands, at summer concerts-in-the-park, and in church-sponsored programs. In addition, the band has distinguished itself through invitational appearances at such prestigious events as the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, the Music Educators National Conference, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association. The Medalist Concert Band is proud to have earned a reputation as “one of foremost community bands in the nation,” as described by the National Band Association. The band was the 1996 recipient of the John Philip Sousa Foundation’s Sudler Silver Scroll Award, which is given annually to the top two community bands in the United States.
Medalist Concert Band is conducted by Professor Jerry Luckhardt, Associate Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota School of Music–Twin Cities, where he conducts the Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds and teaches conducting. Luckhardt has appeared as a guest conductor and clinician with ensembles throughout North America, Europe, and Asia.
During the school year, Medalist joins middle school and high school bands in shared concerts. These performances offer band students the chance to play and interact with adults for whom music is a life-long avocation.
Medalist also participates in workshops with music educators in training. For these individuals, being able to practice their conducting skills with a full ensemble of experienced musicians and the guidance of mentor conductors is a unique and valuable experience.
In 2009–2010, Medalist founded the Earl C. Benson Concerto Competition, a performance contest for high school band students. Students from approximately 200 high schools are invited to submit application materials, and six to eight are invited to audition in person for a panel of Medalist educators. The winner appears as a featured soloist at a Medalist concert and receives a $1,000 scholarship. To date, students from high schools in these communities have won the competition: Apple Valley, Bloomington, Hopkins, Northfield, Prior Lake, Rochester, Rosemount, Waconia, and Watertown–Mayer.
In June of 2018, 2019, 2022, and again in 2023, Medalist sponsored Band Camp for Bloomington band students going into sixth grade. (Band Camp was not held in the summers of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.) Medalist members worked with Bloomington music educators to plan, promote, teach, and administer the camp. Over 55 students participated in the free four-day camps, held at the Bloomington Center for the Arts. Instruction was provided at three levels: individual instrument, group sectional, and full band. Parents and friends enjoyed a finale concert at which students demonstrated their clear progress.
Join us for our 2023-2024 performance series in the beautiful Schneider Theater in Bloomington's Center for the Arts. Ticket information is available on our website: www.medalistband.com/tickets