1914 - And The Band Played On - 2014
Way back in the late 1800's immigrants settled in Randolph Township, and a community of homes and businesses took the name of Randolph Center. In 1910 the Northwestern Railroad passed through Randolph Center, and residents petitioned the US Postal Service to establish a Post Office here, but the name of the community was confusing and was changed to Friesland. Many early immigrants had come from a Friesland Province in Holland and a tie to their roots pleased them.
The community had two churchs - each with a small band. Rather than competing with each other, the members organized a Community Band in 1914. In the beginning each member paid .50 cents at each rehearsal. The fund was used to buy music and pay a Director. Soon donations were coming in and the Band purchased uniforms.
When World War I started there were only two bands in Columbia County. Portage and Friesland Bands each had many requests for performances at fairs, community picnics, holiday celebrations, box socials, etc. there were no high school bands at that time.The bands had members of father, mother, their children, and sometimes a couple of generations, all very happy to make music. Since 1915 the Band has played weekly concerts in Friesland. For many years every Tuesday evening for 12 weeks in the summer there is a concert on the Village Square accompanied by a pie and ice cream social. The only exception is the week of t he 4th of July. If the 4th falls on a Sunday, the concert will be played the followinbg day on Monday July 5th followed by "Fire Works".
The Pie and Ice Cream Social is a fund raiser for many organizations. Eighty five pies a concert is pretty much the standard number and the area is blessed with great bakers and pie eaters! When the Director "Strikes Up The Band", the serving starts and the joy of selecting a delicious piece of pie, visiting friends and applauding great music makes the evening a pleasure.
The Friesland Band plays famous marches, waltzes, polkas, plus Big Band era music. In 2014 we celebrated our 100th Anniversary.
Please join us every Tuesday evening in the summer at 7:30PM rain or shine on the Village Square in Friesland!
Our thanks to Eugene Hahn (Member of the trombone section for 46 years) for his contribution of the history of The Friesland Band!!!!