Czech and Slovak Sokol Minnesota welcomes the Podkrkonošský Band from Jablonec nad Jizerou, Czech Republic, to the C.S.P.S. Sokol Hall for a performance on Friday, February 5, 7:00 pm. at 383 Michigan at West 7th Street, St. Paul.

This Czech city band, which hosted members of the Minnesota State Band during its tour of Eastern Europe in 1992, is now on a reciprocal musical tour.  The band has been performing for over 21 years; it is proud to share its Czech heritage and traditional music.

Members of the Minnesota State Band will join Podkrkonošský Band for several numbers of the concert.   The Minnesota State Band, the Official Band of the State of Minnesota, has been in existence since 1898. The band is the only remaining State Band in the United States. At one time the band received funding from the State of Minnesota, but it now operates as a non-profit organization with an all-volunteer membership. The Minnesota State Band is one of the few community bands anywhere that regularly travels internationally. The band has represented the State of Minnesota on six International Goodwill Tours since 1986. While international travel is important, the band sees its primary mission as providing high quality music to the residents of Minnesota.

Sokol Minnesota will offer an inexpensive limited-menu supper before the concert starting at 5:30 p.m. with traditional Czech sausage (jitrnice) with sauerkraut and caraway rye bread, or a brat or hot dog with sides of traditional Czech potato salad or chips, complete with a cash bar.  Members of the Minnesota State Band will serve a complimentary desert with coffee after the concert.

This concert is free and open to the public; donations are welcome to defray the cost of the event.  Everyone is invited to come early, enjoy a light supper, and mingle with the Czech musicians, Minnesota State Band members, and friends and neighbors at C.S.P.S. Hall.

Jablonec nad Jizerou, with a population of 2,000, is about 60 miles northeast of Prague, almost directly east of Liberec, and very close to the Polish border.  Surrounded by the Giant Mountains, the city is in a valley on the Jizera River and is named for its many apple orchards. It attracts many winter sports enthusiasts.  It also hosts summer music festivals.  The city had its origins as a 14th century parish village attached to an estate. In 1898 Emperor Franz Josef I promoted the village to a township. It acquired it is present name in 1916.  In 1971 it was promoted to a city. You can learn more, in English translation, at: