Obituary: James Engebretson, Twin Cities horn player, educator, composer, 83

Posted on: May 25, 2018

“When the Minnesota Orchestra needed a French horn player to perform at Carnegie Hall, they called James Engebretson. Engebretson was the band director at a Twin Cities middle school at the time,” writes Andy Mannix in Friday’s (5/18) Star Tribune (Minneapolis). “Years later, at Engebretson’s retirement party, his son Mikael brought up the time his Dad played Carnegie Hall…. He was surprised that no one seemed to have any idea what he was talking about. ‘I realized he never told anybody. He really was a humble man,’ his son said….. An accomplished French horn player who dedicated his life to teaching music to young people, James Engebretson died May 6…. He was 83…. His résumé includes band leader, teacher and composer. He helped start the North Metropolitan Brass Quintet and the Lake Wobegon Brass Band, and he performed with such esteemed groups as the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, International Horn Club and Metropolitan Opera Company…. He published hundreds of compositions, including two books of hymns…. Engebretson taught music … to focus on getting younger students to fall in love with playing … his son recalled. ‘It was this philosophy of: Catch them while they’re young. Make it fun.’ ”

Posted May 24, 2018