The Conductor


Paul Niemisto joined music faculty at St. Olaf College in 1978. Originally from Michigan, he taught for a several in the public schools in Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada, before coming to Minnesota. At St. Olaf he is a band conductor, and teaches low brass instruments. He has been involved in the Summer Music Camp, Tuba Christmas, and other activities.

In 1979 he founded the Cannon Valley Regional Orchestra, which he still conducts. In 1990 he founded Boys of America (Ameriikan Poijat) a Finnish style brass septet made of American musicians.

Niemisto has been interested in the history of wind music since his first summer trips to Finland in the early 1980’s. The unique brass history of Finland fueled his many years of research, a Fulbright Senior Research Grant in 1999, and a doctoral degree in 2004.

He is spearheaded the International Wind Music History Conference and the Vintage Band Music Festival in summer 2006, events inspired by the many festivals and conferences he has attended over the years.

His wife Elinor is a player and teacher of the harp in several colleges and symphony orchestras in the region. They have three adult children: Anna, Maija, and Tom.

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