The Minnesota Symphonic Winds concert band provides continued musical education and performing opportunities for post-college age musicians and enhances, enriches, and expands the musical experience available to adults in the Twin Cities area.
We perform concerts throughout the academic year in venues across the Twin Cities and sometimes beyond. Your donation helps us collaborate with local musicians, broaden our visibility in the community, and expand contemporary band repertoire through commissions for new works. Thank you!
Founded in 1978, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds celebrates its 38th season delivering the finest symphonic concert band literature to audiences in the Twin Cities and around the world. The ensemble consists of more than 90 musicians who rehearse weekly from September through early June. In addition to being accomplished musicians, members of the adult community band are Twin Cities area residents who represent a diversity of professions – lawyers, bankers, doctors, secretaries, music teachers, homemakers and more. The Minnesota Symphonic Winds provides an opportunity for musicians who might not otherwise have an outlet for their musical expression and talent to participate actively and regularly in musical performance. The band was formed in order to provide continued musical education and performing opportunities for post-college age musicians who might not otherwise have an outlet for their musical expression. A second important purpose of the band is to enhance, enrich, and expand affordable musical experiences available to adults in the Twin Cities area.
Originally under the direction of Miles H. “Mity” Johnson, who served for 37 years as professor of music at St. Olaf College and conductor of the St. Olaf Band, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds has been under the leadership of principal conductor Timothy Mahr since 1999. William Webb served as associate conductor between 1988 and 2016, when Paul Kile picked up the baton.
At the core of the Minnesota Symphonic Winds is the idea that music enhances and adds value to the lives of those who perform, as well as the lives of the listening audience. We gather each week to rehearse because we know that music is good for the soul, and the community that we have knit is therapy for our lives. There is great joy in making music for the sake of music itself. Sharing with our audiences only enhances that joy.
The Minnesota Symphonic Winds presents five to six concerts each season in churches, schools, colleges, concert halls and parks both locally and throughout Minnesota. In the 1980s the band was regularly heard on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Live from Landmark” series. In 1990 the group appeared at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter In-Service Clinic, and in 1991 it was one of seven American community bands invited to perform in Lucerne, Switzerland at the 700th anniversary celebration band festival. In the summer of 1997 the band toured the Caribbean and in June 2003 the band performed at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay in Singapore. Most recently, the band completed a performance tour of Alaska in June 2006.
Active in the creation and support of new band music by Minnesota composers, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds commissioned Daniel Kallman to write Yankee Doodling – A Young Person’s Guide to the Concert Band in honor of its 20th anniversary. In 2003 the band premiered commissioned works by John Zdechlik and Carl Schroeder as part of its 25th anniversary celebration. Another highlight in the history of the band was the presentation of a Minnesota Composers Concert in 1994, featuring six of the state’s best-known composers conducting their own works. Also part of the 20th anniversary celebration in 1998, the Minnesota Symphonic Winds released a compact disc of favorite works for the concert band. Minnesota composers John Paulsen, J. Robert Hanson, Daniel Kallman and Timothy Mahr are represented on the recording.
In 2008 the Minnesota Symphonic Winds was selected to join a dozen other superior ensembles worldwide at the Midwest Band Clinic in Chicago.
MSW is sponsored in part by the Edina, Minnesota, Community Education Program, and corporate, individual, and performing members' contributions.
"Imagining Peace" - by Timothy Mahr