St. Olaf College | News

Niemisto’s Vintage Band Festival featured in Star Tribune

During the 2010 Vintage Band Festival, performers squared off in a “Battle of the Bands.”

St. Olaf College Associate Professor of Music Paul Niemisto got the idea for the Vintage Band Festival while attending academic conferences in Europe and listening to village musicians play for foreign guests, notes a Star Tribune story.

And from the moment he brought that idea back to the United States, it’s been a hit. When the third Vintage Band Festival begins this week, it is expected to draw more than 15,000 visitors to Northfield to hear performers from around the world.

Niemisto serves as the artistic director of the festival, which celebrates the music and instruments of past eras. The four-day festival will feature more than 100 performances by local and international bands — including Niemisto’s Finnish band, Boys of America.

“These are bands playing outdoors, in old uniforms, on old instruments. They’re trying to re-create what it was like 150 years ago,” Niemisto tells the Rochester Post-Bulletin.