In 1936, Luther College celebrated many milestones, including the start of co-education on campus and the "Diamond Jubilee" 75th anniversary of the school. During this momentous year, the Luther College Concert Band also embarked on its second international tour.
The Luther College Concert Band toured Europe that summer of 1936, when Carlo Sperati was still its vigorous director. The band traveled for 90 days, giving concerts in the United States, including a concert at Orchestra Hall in Chicago, on their way to board the steamship Bergensfjord in New York for the crossing to Norway. The tour was primarily in Norway, but there were visits to Gothenburg, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Cologne, Paris, and London.
Wanting to document the stories behind the band tour, Barbara Nasby '74 began a joint project with the Luther College Archives to interview Willard Linnevold, Class of 1937, who was a member of the band and went on this "Trip of a Lifetime." The documentary included Willard Linnevold's oral history interview, photographs supplied by Linnevold and Barb Nasby, and music by the Luther College Concert Band. Additional support for the project was assisted by Archives' student worker Siphamandla Simelane ('14), Mick Layden ('04), and the Office of the President.
In addition to the documentary, the Luther College Archives received a donation of materials collected by Jim Homstad, another member of the band tour. Among these materials, was a travel diary that he kept during his time on the tour. They recount his visits around the United States, Norway, Denmark, and Germany. Of specific note are his travels to Berlin during the 1936 Olympics. [Read the transcript of the diary.]