Michael Halstenson, a native of North Dakota, is the principal conductor of the Lake Wobegon® Brass Band.
Mr. Halstenson studied music performance and composition at the University of North Dakota, Webster College in St. Louis, and the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis with composers Leigh Gerdine, William Boehle, Dominic Argento, Paul Fetler, Eric Stokes and Alex Lubet.
A prolific composer, Halstenson’s works have been performed by many amateur and professional groups, including the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Minnesota Orchestra, the University of Minnesota Opera Theater, St. Olaf Band and others.
In addition, several of his compositions have sounded in Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and Tampere Hall, Finland. Halstenson’s “Winter Trilogy” has been broadcast over Minnesota Public Radio in numerous St. Paul Orchestra programs.
In 1996 the Lake Wobegon Brass Band premiered Halstenson’s “The Hill Called VØerbjerg,” which was the band’s first major commission, and can be heard on their CD recording, “Bravura!”
Halstenson has served as the director of the North Suburban Band, North Suburban Chorale and Music Director at Peace Lutheran Church in Coon Rapids, Minnesota. He currently is the director of the Northern Symphony Orchestra and has retired from teaching at Anoka High School, where he directed the orchestra program and was music director of the school’s theater program. Humbly, he inspires and mentors students – both past and present – as they develop their own performing, conducting, and composing skills.