Marshfield Civic Band
1895 - 2017

Over 122 Years Of Providing Music For Marshfield, Wis. & The Surrounding Area

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History Of The Band

Marshfield's First Band - Just before the turn of the century, Marshfield's 2nd Regiment band had been organized about four years under the direction of A.P. Adams as leader and Fred W. Kohl as drum major. In 1899, after the Spanish-American War, the band posed for this photo. Pictured are (back row, from left) Torkild Bille, Claude Carter, John Borofka, Bob DeGroff, Kohl, Frank Aigner, and Anton J. Mettelka; (middle row, from left) Frank Giles, Peter Hansen, W.G. Arnold, Frank Zweck, William Reese, Charles Marx, Mose Lupient, and T.A. Tack; (front row, from left) Andrew Rumenopp, Theodore A. Steinmetz, Adams, F.J. Mettelka, William Drumb, and Ed Eckhoff.

The band originated in 1895 as the Badger State Band under the direction of Albert P. Adams, with Fred W. Kohl as drum major.  It performed for four years as a civic band and was then named the Second Regiment Band of the Wisconsin National Guard, in 1899. The band performed as part of the military for the next 62 years.

In 1917, the band became part of the 32nd Division and was renamed the 127th Infantry Band. After World War I, the band organized again in 1919 under the direction of Lt. Moses Lupient. In 1921 the unit became the American Legion Band. Albert J. Rasmussen, father of former director Jim Rasmussen, succeeded director Charles T. Casrroll in 1925 and continued as director until 1941. In 1926, the band became the official band of the 135th Medical Regiment of the Wisconsin National Guard.

While on duty, summer concerts in Marshfield continued by musicians who were ineligible for military service.

With the end of World War II came the Marshfield Civil Air Patrol Band. The band retained its military connection under a variety of names until 1961 when the Marshfield Civil Air Patrol Band became the Marshfield Civic Band. Lt. Anton Kraemer directed the band until his retirement in 1963. He was succeeded by Jim Rasmussen, who then directed the band until 2003, at which time the current conductor, Robert Johanek, took over the reins.

During much of its history, the band consisted exclusively of men. Today, the band is open to anyone who wants to perform. Families often join the band together - mothers and daughters, fathers and sons and a combination of the two.  Jim Rasmussen, his wife Iris and two sons have all been members of the band at one time or another.

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