Band Carnival returns with new features this year

Jessica Stölen-Jacobson
Montevideo American-News

This year’s Montevideo Music Department’s Band Carnival is scheduled for Saturday, January 29th from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Due to COVID-19 guidelines, this year’s event will be similar to last year’s “drive-thru” event. Guests can enter the High School Parking lot through the West entrance, then drive up to the gym doors where they can purchase a meal and/or a cake. 

Montevideo High School Marching Band.

“Last year, due to COVID guidelines, the band was not allowed to gather all together and play like a normal year,” says Band Director Ashley Olson. “This year, you can tune in to KDMA as you drive up to hear the band playing.” Additionally, this year there will be a Scavenger Hunt held leading up to the Band Carnival. Those wishing to participate can print off the Scavenger Hunt Sheet from the Montevideo High School Band Facebook page, or from the school website. There will also be a “Name that Tune” competition on KDMA, with the MHS band playing their favorite pep band tunes leading up to the Band Carnival. Those who guess the tune correctly can win a free cake. 

A silent auction will run from January 29th through February 5th online, with a variety of items including an autographed Byron Buxton photo, autographed Olabisi Johnson football, and Thunder Hawk Gear. The silent auction items can be found on All proceeds from the event are used primarily for keeping instrument rental costs minimal for all students. “The minimum cost for routine instrument maintenance such as cleaning and replacing old parts is around $75-160. Students in Montevideo only pay $35-50 to rent an instrument. Many schools in Minnesota have a $75-100 fee for all students in their band program,” explains Olson. The funds additionally assist in the cost of hosting Flood of Jazz held each spring, as well as bringing in guest artists and clinicians to work with the students. “This past summer, funds from Band Carnival helped jump-start the marching band,” Olson says. 

Each year, the Band Carnival raises between $9,000 to $12,000. “This is all in thanks to the army of parents and community members that put their time and energy into helping the Montevideo Band program,” Olson says. Anyone wishing to support the band program by donating a cake or making a monetary donation can drop off cakes at the high school gym doors between noon and 3 p.m. on January 29th. Monetary donations can be mailed to Oliver Leafblad at the high school 1501 William Ave. Montevideo, MN 56265. Checks can be made out to ISD 129 stating for MHS Band Carnival. Those wishing to donate an item to the silent auction can also drop off donations at the high school Hawk Window. “We really hope to see many new faces at Band Carnival this year,” says Olson.