Gustavus Wind Orchestra

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, now in its one hundred and thirty-fifth year, is the official touring wind orchestra from the Department of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra

The Gustavus Wind Orchestra, now in its one hundred and thirty-fifth year, is the official touring wind orchestra from the Department of Music at Gustavus Adolphus College.

During its long history, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra has toured extensively in the United States and Canada and seven times in Scandinavia and East/Central Europe. The touring tradition began in 1881, when the band members boarded the train on their way to East Union, Minnesota, completing the last leg of their journey from Carver to East Union in horse-drawn wagons! Perhaps one of the most storied tours occurred in March of 1941, when the band toured within Minnesota, accompanied by guest soloist Percy Grainger. Grainger loved the experience so much that he returned to the campus on three additional occasions during the 1940’s.

In January 1990, the wind orchestra was honored as the first American ensemble to receive an invitation to present a concert in East Berlin after the fall of the Berlin Wall. Then in 1994, the wind orchestra toured to Eastern Europe to perform for standing-room-only audiences in Poland, the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary, Austria and Germany, returning to that area of the world in 2006 and 2010 with similar results.

In January of 2014, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra will again return to Eastern Europe, marking Nimmo's seventh international tour with the ensemble.

Florida

During Spring Break/Easter 2008 and 2012, the Gustavus Wind Orchestra completed landmark tours to Florida, performing throughout Holy Week, and culminating with three Easter Sunday services to 3400 people in Vero Beach. Repertoire included David Holsinger's "The Death Tree," from his magnum opus, The Easter Symphony, two movements of which were commissioned by Gustavus Adolphus College.

New Music

During Nimmo’s tenure, Gustavus Adolphus College has commissioned a number of new compositions for the Gustavus Wind Orchestra. Included are:

Gustadolphony (1989) Csaba Deák
The Easter Symphony (1994) David Holsinger
Chorale Prelude on Sleepers Awake (1994) Thomas Root
Of Wind and Wood (2003) Steve Heitzeg
Light of My Soul (2006) David Gillingham
Intrepid Promise (2012) Jim Stephenson
Roulette’s Deception (2013) Jack Stamp
Title TBA, for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble (2014) Steve Wright

Video Clips

Conductor Douglas Nimmo talks about his hopes for the tour in this pre-tour interview.

Gustavus Wind Orchestra members talk about their Eastern Europe Tour experience.

Learn more about the conductor.