There is something quite exciting and visceral about hearing a sophisticated, large symphonic band in an exquisite concert hall present a rich and varied program. This recording offers its listeners the chance to share in that experience. Almost a century after its first tour to the region in 1909, the St. Olaf Band culminated its 2007 Winter Tour to the Pacific Northwest with a concert in Seattle's Benaroya Hall. The acoustic was superb, the setting elegant, and the effort from the 88 performers was inspired by the special nature of the occasion. It was a memorable performance and we're pleased to be able to share it with you.
Founded in 1891 as the St. Olaf Cornet Band, the St. Olaf Band has been acclaimed over the decades for its superb musicianship. The 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. It 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 abroad several times, as well as annually throughout the United States. Memorable performances include invitations to the national conventions of the Music Educators National Conference (2004), the American Bandmasters Association (1997) and the College Band Directors National Association (1987). The band recently toured Japan (2010), Norway (2005, 1996), Mexico (2004), and Britain and Ireland (2000).
Timothy Mahr was appointed as conductor of the St. Olaf Band in 1994, replacing Miles H. Johnson, who retired after 37 years as band director. The innovative programming and inspired performances of today continue the legacy of Johnson's artistic vision and hard work.
This recording contains music performed at Benaroya Hall in Seattle during the 2007 Winter Tour to the Pacific Northwest of the St. Olaf Band. This concert was recorded live and there is a minimal amount of audience noise on the recording master that we were unable to remove in the editing process.