News Column

Ludington Guard Band adds cannon to concert

June 28, 2014

By Pamela Powers, The Leader-Telegram, Eau Claire, Wis.

June 28--MENOMONIE -- The Ludington Guard Band's concert Tuesday will include an extra-loud dose of percussion. Cannon fire and church bells will sound during the band's Patriotic Concert that will feature Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture."

"The band has done this piece on occasion in the past," Ludington Guard Band President Carroll Rund said. "The band has wanted to do this piece with all these special effects for several years, but things never worked out."

This year, however, the band arranged to work with Battery I, 1st U.S. Artillery from Ellsworth, a group of Civil War re-enactors. One of three cannons they will fire during the band's performance is a 12-pound gun nicknamed "Fanny" manufactured in 1864 and used in the Civil War.

The band's rendition of the "1812 Overture" will feature at least 15 cannon shots, Rund said. Fireworks will be shot off during the song's ending.

The concert also will include the Menomonie Singers, under the direction of Nathan Jacobson. The event will conclude with the traditional playing of John Phillip Sousa's famous "Stars and Stripes Forever." Audience members will light sparklers near the end of the song.

The Ludington Guard Band dates to 1869, when it was affiliated with a cavalry unit called the Ludington Guard, name for the former Wisconsin Gov. Harrison Ludington. The band later became part of the cavalry unit in 1877 and was dissolved six years later when that unit became part of the Third Infantry, Wisconsin National Guard. It was reorganized in 1888.

In its early days the band played military marches, but over the years performances have included concert band music such as overtures and medleys from Broadway musicals and novelty selections.

Band members meet to rehearse Monday nights and perform at 8 p.m. on Tuesdays during the summer at the Wilson Park bandshell in Menomonie.

Powers can be reached at 715-556-9018 or


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Source: Leader-Telegram (Eau Claire, WI)

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