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Red River Valley Veterans Band

Patriotic and popular favorites by one of the last of the regional American Legion bands have been an annual tradition for the past four years in Perham.

The Red River Valley Veterans Concert Band will be playing two concerts May 1 in Perham.

The first will be at Perham Memorial Hospital and Home at 7 p.m., and then at the Lakeside Golf Course around 8:15.

The concerts are sponsored by the Perham Lions Club.

The Red River Valley Veterans Concert Band is a volunteer organization and plays around 30 concerts between September and May each year in eastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota.

For many years the band was known as the Gilbert C. Grafton Post 2 Legion Band, one of the last American Legion Post Bands in the nation.

The band has been in existence for over fifty years, started up in earnest after the veterans returned home from World War II. The band incorporated about ten years ago and is now a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide patriotism through music for veteran organizations, nursing homes, and retirement centers. The band is headquartered in Fargo, but members come from a number of surrounding communities.

Perham trumpet player Jeff DeVillers is one area member of the band. Also from the area: two from Pelican Rapids; Dave Strand and Mike Nettestad; one from Detroit Lakes; Myron Dybing; and one from Vergas/Frazee; Dave Puetz.

Some of the members of the band are military veterans, but all play for the love of the music. The band plays four concerts on Veterans Day each year, which starts with the city program in Fargo at the 11th hour, and then onto veterans organizations in Fargo, Moorhead, and West Fargo throughout the day.

Concerts include a wide variety of music including marches, Broadway musicals, jazz, and patriotic numbers, much like you would hear at an old-fashioned band concert in the park.