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Veteran tuba soloist joins community band concert

Trygve Skaar -- an active freelance tuba soloist, teacher and retired U.S. Army veteran -- is the featured musician at the Park Rapids Area Community Band concert. (Submitted photo)

The Park Rapids Area Community Band, under the direction of Dr. Russell Pesola, will present its fall concert on Sunday, Nov. 19 at 3 p.m. in the Park Rapids High School auditorium.

The concert features tuba soloist Trygve Skaar.

Skaar grew up in Cambridge, Minn. He is an active music educator and performer in the region. He studied music at Bethel University and the University of Minnesota. His teachers include Ross Tolbert, David Fedderly, Rex Martin and Charles Olson.

An active freelance musician, Skaar has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, Minnesota Opera, VocalEssence and the LaCrosse Symphony Orchestra. He is a member of the Minneapolis-based Compass Rose Brass Ensemble. Skaar has been a featured soloist at the Great American Brass Band Festival in Danville, Ky. and at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Mid-Winter Convention.

While serving in the U.S. Army 8th Infantry Division Band in Germany, he performed in brass bands throughout Europe, such as the Swiss National Championships with the Appenzellerland Brass Band.

Skaar retired from the U.S. Army after 24 years, serving on active duty and with the Minnesota Army National Guard. His military service took him all over the world — from Germany to Alabama to Norfolk, Va. and throughout southwest Asia.

As commander of the 34th Infantry Division Band, based in Rosemount, Minn., he led 45 soldiers on deployment to Iraq in 2009. They performed 450 times and traveled over 70,000 miles on the ground and through the air. His proudest professional moment occurred when all 45 soldiers returned home safely in 2010.

Skaar currently teaches tuba and euphonium at Gustavus Adolphus College, and tuba at the University of Saint Thomas. He is assistant conductor of the St. Paul-based Grand Symphonic Winds. He has served on the faculty of Saint Olaf College, Augsburg College, Bethel University, Northwestern University (Arden Hills), Crown College and Macalaster College.

Skaar has three children. In addition to his musical endeavors, he works for the Department of Veterans Affairs in Minneapolis.