The Northport Community Band . . .
is a group that has had several re-births over the years and has evolved in an interesting fashion to arrive at where the band stands today. Never meant to be a “finished” project, the band continues to evolve and change with the times – and we all enjoy that aspect of it.
The earliest evidence of band activity in Northport that has been found, so far, is the Northport Cornet Band shown in the photo.
The date of this picture is unknown, but we are hoping that to learn more from folks who might recognize a relative or neighbor in the photo, or the list of names we found on the back. Any leads or new information would be most welcome! From the photo and the uniforms and the pose and such, it would appear to be somewhere “turn of the century” perhaps. It appears that the band is over 100 years old!
After the Northport Cornet Band, the next step was the Northport Consolidated School Band which was made up of students AND community members. This band, at its peak was an amazing collection of players for a community the size of Northport. From the look of the picture, half of the town’s population must have been playing in the band!
This was back in the days of “The Old School” – the red brick building that sat where the present school playground is located.
The present day NCB – Northport Community Band – was resurrected by Ken Bloomquist about 20 years ago, starting with 6 members at the first rehearsal, and that includes counting Ken. Most hadn’t picked up an instrument in years. Bloomquist described that first rehearsal as “Pretty awful! We played 10 to 15 bars and then everything crashed and burned.”
But anyone who knows Professor Bloomquist (the retired Director of Bands Emeritus and Head of the School of Music at Michigan State University) knew what would happen from there on. The group grew, and attracted players (Ken is a master recruiter) and rather quickly developed into a very creditable band that began to play for community events and started a concert series within the NCAC (which Ken and Ann had a huge part in establishing). Within a handful of years, the band was playing a series of popular concerts each summer, including the now famous “Sousa Concerts” that end each summer season. The NCB is now one of the most popular groups in the area and their major concerts are usually a sell-out on the Northport Community Arts Center concert series.