The importance of a city band in Flandreau

You can hear music almost every Thursday night in the summer from the Flandreau band shell. The Flandreau City Band was revived in July 2003 after being dormant for more than 20 years. Siblings JoAnn Edwards, Larry Anderson and Barbara Anderson revived the band after they retired and moved back to South Dakota.

“I nominated myself president. My brother was vice president. My sister was secretary/treasurer for 10 years until we turned it over to, then the existing band, we could see it was going to work,” Edwards said. In 2002, after returning to South Dakota, the three siblings played together in the Lennox City Band. It was then that the idea came to bring music back to their hometown of Flandreau.

“It was quite a task. We had to find people to play and a conductor. We had 13 members to start with and just a couple pieces of music, and then we decided we needed a band shell and went from there,” Edwards said. In 2006, they started raising money for a new band shell. Not only were they able to build a new one, they also had money left over to buy chairs, music stands and sheet music.

“At that point I thought, ‘holy cow, how many towns are actually getting a new band shell in this day and age?’ And that’s one of the great things about Flandreau is that there’s so much support from the community, from the city, from everybody for music,” director Pat Weight said.