A Norwegian band in Austin? You betcha

Published 5:10 pm Saturday, July 2, 2011

Though they’re all the way from Norway, they’re pretty fitting for a Midwestern Fourth of July Parade.

The Transby School Band, a marching band from a small village in Norway, will be the Scandinavian centerpiece to Austin’s Fourth of July Parade.

The band — which consists of 50, 12- to 18-year-old musicians — arrived in the Midwest Wednesday night and will participate in marches in Chicago, La Crosse, Austin and Minneapolis. Scheduling allowed the band to be in Austin for the Fourth.

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According to Marla Klocke of Norseland Travel in Decorah, the heavy Scandinavian ties in the Midwest have drawn the band to the area for the first time ever. The Transby School Band, which has existed for 50 years, has hoped to travel to the Midwest and play in American marches for quite some time, Klocke said.

After booking trips from Norway for eight years, Klock said it makes sense to her: “I understand why so many Scandinavians come to the Midwest.” She added, “Many of them have family in this area.”

The Fourth of July parades fit the Transby Band’s style, too, as it plays in a lot of parade marches in Norway. Norway celebrated its national day on May 17, which offered recent marching opportunities and practice for the band. Now, this trip will allow the members to play in American parades next to many of their distant cousins.

But the Transby band doesn’t play only Norwegian pieces, it plays movie music, church music, solos and symphonies, as well.

Henrik Tromborg, Transby conductor for the past four years, teacher and former military musician in the Norwegian Army, will lead the band through Austin.