At least once a week, I want to highlight something that's unique about our town. I can last quite a few weeks just drawing on my own experience, but I'd like open it up to anyone who lives, works, or otherwise comes into Norristown for whatever reason. Leave a comment here (or on my Facebook posting for this blog), and tell me your favorite unique thing about Norristown. I'll either publish the comment as is, or save the topic for a future blog post.
THE VERDI BAND
Norristown has had a tradition of immigrant music groups since at least the Civil War, up to and including our newest Mariachi musicians. The Verdi Band is Norristown's oldest active brass band, and is still going strong.
You'll find a couple county concert bands in southeastern PA, and one church band that I know of, but bands associated with a town are rare, especially with music education dying out in the schools. The Verdi Band is special in that they've been playing at Norristown events for nearly a hundred years.
They were founded in 1920 as an immigrant band, to provide music at Italian festivals and march along with church processions. After World War II, they began giving more and more public concerts, and marching in public parades. You may have seen them marching in the Independence Day Parade last week. They play all over the region, including an occasional Phillies games, but they're still OUR band, and we ought to boast about them.
This Sunday, you can hear them in a free concert at Elmwood Park's band shell at 7 pm. Bring a blanket or lawn chair and come on down. More info at verdiband.com .