There are some organizations that withstand the test of time, one such group is the Lennox Municipal Band. The band had its debut performance at the Legion’s Memorial Day Program and will once again begin their summer concert series every Thursday.
The Lennox Municipal Band is the longest running municipal band in South Dakota, beginning in Lennox in 1883. In a 75th anniversary publication published by The Independent in 1958 it was stated: “Unless we take a little time to truly evaluate the history of this organization, as well as other musical organizations in our midst, the fact may escape us that music has and will continue to play a very large part in the civic, social and spiritual life of this community. Music, like so many other intangibles, gives this life depth and purpose. Many times music means effortless enjoyment for those who listen, while at the same time it means challenge, determination and accomplishment for those who perform.
“Music, indisputably, is the expression of the better part of human nature, of a longing for harmony among men, of perfection in this life, and for beauty in our midst. Like the wind, we cannot see it, touch it, or taste it, but we can hear it, remember it, and know that it serves a purpose, although we may find it difficult to explain.
“Transportation, communications, styles, and even governments change, but basically music remains the same, and continues to occupy a unique position in the lives of men, women and children. Professional or amateur, beginner or old-time, all can derive true enjoyment and satisfaction from music participation. It is our hope, that upon reading this booklet, you may find some spark of inspiration that will encourage you to be a participant in a musical organization, thereby gaining a deeper appreciation of music and deriving an enjoyment from music that listening alone can not provide.”
The organization enters its 134th year in 2017. The band is under the direction of Byron Youngquist, who has been directing the Lennox Municipal Band for 18 years.
The Lennox Municipal Band provides free concerts every Thursday night at Westerman Park in the Jacobs Memorial Bandshell. The Bandshell was built in 1963 and named in honor of the Jacobs brothers who played a prominent role in making a city band a permanent fixture in Lennox.
Arthur B. Jacobs, held the position as leader and director of the Lennox Band for nearly 40 years. A.B. Jacobs, affectionately known as “Whiskers”, came to Lincoln County, Dakota Territory with his parents in 1876 where they established their home on a homestead farm three miles north of Lennox until 1880, at which time the family moved to town.
Mr. Jacobs joined the band as a mere lad, and at the age of 20 years became its leader. The outstanding characteristic of the man when expressed in words was this, “Do the job well or not at all.”
His brother, Henry Jacobs gave freely of his time and effort in promoting the Lennox community as well. For over 40 years he was a member of the band, and for about 10 years after the death of his brother Art in 1925, he directed the band.
Another Jacobs brother, Lou Jacobs never directed the Lennox band, but he was a leader of that organization in the sense that he was part of the group for over half a century. As long as Lou was able to play, the baritone section was well taken care of. Like his brothers, Louis was a community leader and devoted a great deal of time in serving civic organizations.
In today’s band, musicians of every age take part. Sixth grade band students even participate in the community concert each Thursday evening. The first concert in the park will take place on Thursday, June 8th at 8 p.m. Each week a guest soloist will be featured. A complete line-up of selections can be found on page 4 of this week’s paper.
Lennox Municipal Band is pictured above during a June 2016 concert in the park.