Celebrating 20 Years

Impact of Rotary Music Festival Runs Deep

 
 
 
 
In 2017, Drum Corps World Magazine called the Rotary Music Festival Drum & Bugle Corps Show in Cedarburg “ one of the greatest events on the Drum Corps International tour.”  The article praised how well the event was organized and managed …  quite a compliment for the Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club which presents the event. 
 
 
The Madison Scouts (pictured right) made their
17th appearance at the Rotary Music Festival in 2019 and
marched in the Cedarburg July 4th parade the next day.
 
The Rotary Music Festival was born in 1999 when Layton Olsen, an avid drums & bugle corps fan, rallied fellow Rotarians around an idea that he said would draw an audience from all over the country and have the potential to raise significant funds for charitable and civic causes.  A core group of volunteers from the Rotary Club was assembled to handle marketing, logistics, fundraising, and housing for the corps. 
Rotary Music Festival Chairman Layton Olsen, waving at the camera, is surrounded by fellow Rotarians before the 2018 event.
Fast forward 20 years and the statistics are impressive.
 
The Rotary Music Festival has entertained 29,000 guests and raised a net total of $840,000 through the generosity of community sponsors. Locally, those funds have helped to build a new bandshell, support Eagle Scout projects, enhance cultural & performing arts, assist social service agencies, and provide student scholarships. Internationally, funds have been channeled to Third World countries to help in the fight to end polio and provide clean water.
 
What’s more, the core group of volunteers who made the first festival possible has expanded to include nearly every member of the 60-person club.  It is truly a group effort. 
 
From one magical evening every July 3rd, when hundreds of talented young musicians are welcomed into our community, the impact is far-reaching. The Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Club is proud to have hosted this event for 20 years!
 
(Note:  The Rotary Music Festival was canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the Coronavirus.  We hope to bring it back in 2022.) 
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TESTIMONIAL
When inquiring about accommodations, Jeff Griswold had this to say.
Jeff:  Hi there! I live in St. Louis and am bringing my family to Cedarburg for the drum corps show and the parade. Do you have any recommendations on hotels?
C-G Rotary: Hi Jeff so glad you will be joining us! We have a couple of beautiful bed and breakfast hotels in Cedarburg. For a family, you may want to check for lodging in the adjoining community of Grafton. Three larger hotels with pools that might work with kids. Do plan on attending our Cedarburg 4th of July parade at 10 am on the fourth. It’s magnificent and includes a couple of drum corps
Jeff: Thanks for your help! I will look in Grafton. I'm also considering Port Washington, seems like a neat little town. Yes, we will be attending the parade as well. I'm a Madison Scouts alumni so this show/parade has some great nostalgia for me. Thanks again!
C-G Rotary: Port would be a great option as well! Enjoy your time here!
This dialog occurred on 6/3/2019 using the Cedarburg-Grafton Rotary Facebook Messenger app.