Gathering of Waters concert to feature Brainerd, St. Cloud bands

The joint concert is set for Monday, Nov. 28 in Little Falls.

Central Lakes Wind Symphony
The Central Lakes Wind Symphony is an 86-piece ensemble directed by Central Lakes College instructor Jonathan Laflamme.

LITTLE FALLS — Bands from Brainerd and St. Cloud will meet in the middle to provide central Minnesotans with a unique concert experience Monday, Nov. 28, in Little Falls.

The Central Lakes Wind Symphony and St. Cloud Municipal Bands are joining forces for the Gathering of Waters, a concert Jonathan Laflamme hopes to make an annual occurrence. Director of the Central Lakes Wind Symphony, which is a semi-professional band based at Central Lakes College, Laflamme hopes the concert will provide much-needed entertainment to community members and help get more people — especially younger generations — excited about music.

“I just feel like our community needs more concerts, but they don’t need more things that are going to cost them money,” Laflamme said. “... More and more, I think about how expensive life is getting, especially if you have lots of children. And you want your children to have opportunities that you didn’t, and for a lot of people that is music.”

A free concert with two semi-professional bands is just the spark Laflamme thinks many people need right now.

The show is set for 7:30 p.m. Nov. 28 at the Charles D. Martin Auditorium in Little Falls. Laflamme said that spot was chosen because it’s about halfway between Brainerd and St. Cloud, and the Morrison County area has good up and coming band programs at the schools.


Laflamme’s 86-piece wind symphony will play the same setlist performed Nov. 19 in Brainerd, with movie music, classical tunes from Mozart, French impressionist pieces and a tribute to veterans in the community with “American Veteran,” a song that tells the true story of a World War II veteran from Minnesota.

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Andrew Nelson, director of the St. Cloud Municipal Band, has a variety of music planned, sure to appeal to audience members of all ages — from the classic Ralph Vaughan Williams arrangement “Sea Songs,” to show tunes from “The Sound of Music,” to a more modern rock piece called, “In These Last Days of Autumn.”

Nelson’s group is a 45-piece wind ensemble made up of adults from St. Cloud and the surrounding area. The band has been around for about 125 years in many different forms.

“In my discussions with Jon (Laflamme), I think it’s really important to both of us that young people see that playing a musical instrument is something you can continue throughout your life,” Nelson said. “So any chance we have to get out and show young people, ‘Hey, look, we’re a great variety of ages here, and we’re still playing, and by the way, playing pretty well.’”

Scheduled right after the Thanksgiving holiday, Laflamme said he hopes the concert will provide a need for those looking for something to do.

And with so many skilled high school bands in the area — including Little Falls, Pierz, Upsala and Royalton — both directors hope to reach a broad array of students excited about music.

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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