St. Olaf College | News

St. Olaf Band to perform throughout California

The St. Olaf Band will perform throughout California this January and February as part of its 2020 tour, with additional performances in the Minneapolis area.

The St. Olaf Band, conducted by Timothy Mahr ’78, is the oldest music organization at St. Olaf College. Founded in 1891 and organized initially by students, the band’s early years were marked by its first tour in 1896 to nearby Kenyon, Minnesota, and performances on campus and in Northfield.

The St. Olaf Band performs in Boe Chapel during the ensemble’s 2019 spring concert.

Touring both nationally and internationally have always been important to the St. Olaf Band. In 1906, the St. Olaf Band became the first American collegiate band to tour Europe when they performed a four-week, 30-concert tour of Norway. The band has subsequently toured internationally several times in Norway, Great Britain, Japan, central Europe, and recently in Australia and New Zealand in 2018.

St. Olaf Band Conductor Timothy Mahr ’78

This year’s tour program, Imagining Peace, features works by David Maslanka, John Philip Sousa, Claudio Monteverdi, and St. Olaf alumni Jocelyn Hagen ’03 and Jonathan Bartz ’08. The program also includes Mahr’s own work, Imagining Peace, for which the program is titled.

Several students are featured as soloists, student conductors, and narrators.

This year also marks Mahr’s 26th year conducting the St. Olaf Band. His career with the St. Olaf Band began as a student in the 1970s, when he spent three years playing trombone in the ensemble.

A widely sought guest conductor and nationally recognized and award-winning composer, Mahr has more than 100 works to his credit. 

“A musical performance begins long before its first downbeat,” says Mahr. “I’m interested in writing music that might pull the listener into the performance as an active participant.”

Check out the full itinerary and get tickets or at the door.