Johanna Brunsberg, an incoming senior at Wadena-Deer Creek, attended the Minnesota All-State Band conference in August. She will be playing flute with other members of the All-State Symphonic Orchestra.

The first concert included a performance at the conference on the Concordia College Moorhead campus and another will be at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis this winter.

Brunsberg was selected as a member of the flute section in the Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Concert Band through blind auditions in the 2020 school year. The All-State camps were canceled due to COVID. During the 2021 school year, MMEA held virtual rehearsals to create an online concert, according to Lisa Weniger, WDC high school band director.

"Johanna had the opportunity to audition for a second year in the MMEA All-State Program, but MMEA offered the juniors to be automatically 'grandfathered' into the 2021-2022 All-State Program," Weniger said. "Johanna is 1 of 13 flutes in the Symphonic Band, under the Direction of Dr. Erika Svanoe. Dr. Svanoe is a conductor, composer and educator currently serving as the Conductor of Augsburg Concert Band at Augsburg University in Minneapolis."

At the camp, students met their guest conductor and section coaches for the first time. Placement auditions for seating were followed by long hours of rehearsals and sectionals. Although the major focus during the summer camp was making music, a full schedule of recreation and social activities gave students opportunities to develop new friendships.

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Wadena-Deer Creek senior Johanna Brunsberg attended the Minnesota All-State Band conference in August 2021. The conference included a performance, long hours of rehearsals and recreational activities.
Contributed / Michael Brunsberg
Wadena-Deer Creek senior Johanna Brunsberg attended the Minnesota All-State Band conference in August 2021. The conference included a performance, long hours of rehearsals and recreational activities. Contributed / Michael Brunsberg

All-State history

The first All-State concert was held on Oct. 27, 1944 when guest conductor Robert Shaw directed the 1,000- voice choir accompanied by 125 students in the orchestra at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Education Association in the St. Paul Auditorium. Seventy-one schools sent students to this event. The first All-State band was organized two years later. Harold Bachman was the first conductor of the All-State band, and radio state KUOM made a recording of the concert to distribute to Minnesota radio stations wishing to broadcast the program as a public service.

MMEA performing groups continued to assemble during even-numbered years to perform at the fall convention. An All-State choir appeared on each occasion and All-State band and orchestra alternated appearances.