Minneapolis Police Band

Sharing music with our community since 1917

The Minneapolis Police Band was formed in 1917 by Major General George Emerson Leach and Arthur Bolte. Leach had been commanding general of the U.S. Army's Rainbow Division in World War I and was elected mayor of Minneapolis after retiring from the Army. Bolte, a musical instrument salesman, thought he could sell a lot of instruments if he could start a city band. Mayor Leach believed that the Police Department needed a better image; hence, the police band was formed. Bolte became the first band director in 1917 and served until 1922. The band's first performance was in the Armistice Day Parade in November, 1918.

The Minneapolis Police Band consists of a concert band, a marching band and a swing band. The bands participate in 30 to 35 engagements a year. The marching band has been the official escort band for the Minneapolis Aquatennial Parade since the parade began in 1940. The band has traveled through the U.S. and Canada and has won many awards and trophies.

The 17-piece Minneapolis Police Swing Band has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years with the great sounds of the famous swing era. The band has performed at many local events, as well as in Winnipeg, Milwaukee, and Cleveland. You're sure to recognize many of the band's selections..."In the Mood", "Sentimental Journey", and others.

During its first two years, the band was composed of police officers only. In 1919, civilian members were allowed to join the ranks, and in 1969 the first women were admitted. Today, active and retired officers and civilians join together in making music year-round.

Last updated Feb 4, 2014