South Dakota native Susan Hvistendahl holds a B.A. from St. Olaf College and an M.A. from Iowa State University. After working in New York as a freelance writer and assistant to The Boys of Summer author Roger Kahn, she returned to Northfield, Minnesota, where she assisted the Northfield Historical Society and wrote 119 “Historic Happenings” columns for local magazine The Entertainment Guide. Three books of her collected columns (on Northfield, St. Olaf and Carleton) were published in 2014 and 2015.
Her latest book, Milestones and Memories of the St. Olaf Band 1891-2018, co-authored by Jeffrey M. Sauve, was published in December. She played alto clarinet in the St. Olaf Band.
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From a small group of young men who formed the St. Olaf College Cornet Band in 1891 to a 94-piece Band that made a concert tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2018, the St. Olaf Band has been on an ascendant path of strong and dynamic musicianship. This definitive account by Susan Hvistendahl and co-author Jeffrey Sauve covers significant milestones in the history of this well-known musical ensemble, hailed by the New Yorker.
Dwight D. Eisenhower was greeted by 10,000 on a campaign stop in Northfield in 1952. Jesse James and his gang were greeted by citizens armed with rifles and rocks when the outlaws attempted to rob First National Bank in 1876. Lions attacked their trainer during a carnival show in 1915. Ax-wielding settlers promoted temperance in in 1858. These are among the many tales in “Historic Happenings” of Northfield, selected from Susan Hvistendahl’s columns for The Entertainment Guide.
Betty White’s visit to St. Olaf in 1992 where she sang “Um Yah Yah” with the Choir. The true origin of the “Goat Trophy” fought over each year by St. Olaf and Carleton in football. Illustrious artist grads L.K. Hanson and Ward Sutton, still skewering in cartoons today. The St. Olaf Choir’s 1920 Eastern tour, the St. Olaf Band’s 1966 tour to Europe. A wealth of talented singers, actors and many others in Volume 2 of selections from Susan Hvistendahl’s columns for The Entertainment Guide.
President Clinton held high a bust of Schiller in 2000. Barack Obama spoke at Carleton in 1999. Undistinguished White Sox pitcher Marvin Rotblatt came to see a softball league named after him in 1966. Carleton and St. Olaf played the only sanctioned metric football game in 1977. Larry Gould was a “rock star” president. Peter Tork dropped out twice but did okay with the Monkees. These are just a few of the sometimes quirky Carleton stories in Volume 3 from Susan Hvistendahl’s columns.