Timothy Mahr is a professor of music at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, where since 1994 he has been the Conductor of the St. Olaf Band and has taught courses in composition, conducting and music education. Previously, Mahr was Director of Bands at the University of Minnesota, Duluth, for ten years and taught instrumental music at Milaca High School (MN) for three years. Mahr is the principal conductor of the Twin Cities-based Minnesota Symphonic Winds, and while in Duluth was the founder and conductor of the Twin Ports Wind Ensemble. He is a past-president of the North Central Division of the College Band Directors National Association (1999-2001), has served on the Board of Directors of the National Band Association (1996-98) and was a founding board member of the Minnesota Band Directors Association.
Active in over thirty states as a guest conductor and clinician, Mahr has also appeared professionally in Norway, Canada, Mexico, Thailand and Singapore. He has been in residence as a guest composer/conductor on over thirty college and university campuses and has twice conducted performances with the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra. Starting with his first in 1985, Mahr has conducted over 25 all-state and intercollegiate bands. His interpretations have earned the praise of notable composers such as Gian Carlo Menotti, Warren Benson, Vincent Persichetti, Ned Rorem, Ellen Taaffe Zwilich, Stephen Paulus, Libby Larsen, David Maslanka and Dan Welcher. Under Mahr's baton, the St. Olaf Band traveled to Norway in 1996 and 2005, Britain and Ireland in 2000, took a study tour of Mexico during the January, 2004 and Japan in 2010, and most recently toured Spain, France and Italy in 2014. Additionally, the St. Olaf Band performed at the 1997 American Bandmasters Association Convention in San Diego, gave its New York City debut at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 2003 and performed in Minneapolis at the 2004 National Convention of the Music Educators National Conference. The band was invited to perform at the 2013 National Conference of the College Band Directors national Association. It made its Carnegie Hall debut in 2016 during its 125th Anniversary Tour. Since 1994, the St. Olaf Band has produced eleven compact disc recordings, four of which have received international acclaim.
A well-known composer, Mahr has written over 80 works, many of which are published for band. He received the 1991 ABA/ Ostwald Award for his piece, The Soaring Hawk. Five other works have been finalists in national composition contests. His works have been programmed at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in New York, numerous national and international music conferences and in twenty countries on four continents. He is presently contracted for commissioned works through 2018. His compositions are recorded on the Sony, Citadel, Crest, Mark, GIA, Cafua and St. Olaf labels. He has been the subject of interview articles in Clarino: Internationale Zeitschrift für Bläsermusik (July/August, 1997), The Instrumentalist (March, 1995) and BDGuide (March/April, 1993) and has authored articles for major music journals. He is a contributor to the text, Composers on Composing for Band (2002), edited by Mark Camphouse, and his scholarly and compositional work is cited in Frank Battisti’s The Winds of Change (2002) and William Rehrig’s The Heritage Encyclopedia of Band Music (1996).
Mahr was the first recipient of a commission from the American Bandmasters Association Commissioning Project, and the United States Interservice Band premiered the resultant work, Endurance, in Washington, DC. He has received over 40 commissions including works for the U.S. Air Force Band, the Music Educators National Conference, Kappa Kappa Psi/Tau Beta Sigma (National Honorary Band Fraternities), the Nebraska and Indiana Bandmasters Associations, and a work celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the American School Band Directors Association. He is a recipient of the National Band Association's "Citation of Excellence" and was elected in 1993 to membership in the American Bandmasters Association. Mahr was recently inducted into his alma mater’s Hall of Excellence at LaCrosse Central High School.
Mahr (b. 1956) graduated with two degrees summa cum laude from St. Olaf College in 1977 and 1978 (B.M. Theory/Composition and B.A. Music Education). In 1983 he received the Master of Arts degree in Trombone Performance from The University of Iowa, where in 1995 he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Instrumental Conducting.
Mahr is married to Jill Mahr, musician and educator, and they have two daughters, Jenna and Hannah.