"I'm a very lucky man. . .
In addition to having a family who loves me in spite of the fact that I'm a composer, I've landed in a situation where for the past 15 years, an internationally acclaimed band has been interested in performing my music with me on the podium! Actually, I suppose the band had no other choice than to be involved, seeing how one of my conductor responsibilities is to determine concert programming, but that's perhaps a minor point. All jesting aside, as a composer (let alone a conductor!) I count myself to be extremely fortunate to have had the wonderful experience of being in front of the St. Olaf Band, especially when performing my own music.
Contained in this double CD set are recordings of my works that I've conducted in performance with the St. Olaf Band over the previous decade. They have been taken from live performances within a number of different venues; consequently, the listener will occasionally encounter a bit of audience noise, differences in ambience, and less than perfect execution that most likely would have been edited out if this album were produced in a recording studio. I firmly believe a live recording of a performance, energized by an appreciative audience's presence, captures most effectively the full essence of a work. It is my hope that the recordings here will provide an engaging experience for listeners (hearing the St. Olaf Band live!) and serve as models for conductors and musicians contemplating performances of these works.
Over the years, the membership of the St. Olaf Band has included remarkable students who have always given a full measure of their time and talent to our collective music making. I am grateful beyond words for the willing and heartfelt contributions these young men and women have generously shared."
The 90-member St. Olaf Band celebrated its centennial year with a tour of Great Britain, becoming the first college music organization to perform at the famed Aldeburgh Festival. The St. Olaf Band was also the first American collegiate band to make a European concert tour, traveling to Norway under the baton of F. Melius Christiansen to perform for King Haakon and capacity crowds in 1906. The band has subsequently toured several times in Norway, Great Britain and central Europe, as well as throughout the United States. Memorable performances include invitations to the national conventions of the American Bandmasters Association (1997), College Band Directors National Association (1987) and Music Educators National Conference (2004). The band toured Britain and Ireland in the summer of 2000, participated in a study tour of Mexico in January 2004, and recently participated in a study tour of Japan in January 2010.
A professor of music at St. Olaf College, Timothy Mahr conducts the St. Olaf Band and teaches courses in composition, conducting and music education. He is a past president of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association. Also principal conductor of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds, Mahr was elected to membership in the American Bandmasters Association in 1993.
Mahr was the first recipient of a commission from the American Bandmasters Association Commissioning Project, and the United States Interservice Band premiered the resultant work, Endurance, in Washington, D.C. He has received over 40 commissions, including works for the U. S. Air Force Band, the Music Educators National Conference, Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma (National Honorary Band Fraternities), the Nebraska and Indiana Bandmasters Associations, and a work celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the American School Band Directors Association. He is a recipient of the National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence," and in 2001 was inducted into his alma mater's Hall of Excellence at La Crosse Central High School.
Mahr (b. 1956) graduated with two degrees summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in 1977 and 1978 (B.M. theory/composition and B. A. music education). In 1983, he received the master of arts degree in trombone performance from The University of Iowa, where in 1995 he earned a doctor of musical arts degree in instrumental conducting.
Mahr is married to Jill Mahr, musician and educator, and they have two daughters, Jenna and Hannah. He is appreciative beyond words for their loving support and understanding of his artistic endeavors.