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Roland L. Moehlmann (Band Leader, Arranger)

Born: 1907 - Madison, Wisconsin, USA
Died: 1972 - Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA

The band leader and arranger, Roland L. Moehlmann, studied music in Madison, Wisconsin and at the Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin, Germany.

Roland L. Moehlmann was the founding director of Cedar Rapids Municipal Band (CRMB), and led the ensemble from 1951 to 1967. He came to Cedar Rapids, Iowa in 1929 as the second full time instrumental music teacher hired by the Cedar Rapids Community School District. In the early 1930s he began writing a series of band transcriptions on J.S. Bach's Preludes and Fugues. He dedicated his arrangement of J.S. Bach's Prelude & Fugue in G Minor to Ms. Alice Inskeep, who was one of the original founding members of the influential Music Educators National Conference. She was also a Cedar Rapids Public School Music Supervisor and a faculty member at Coe College for forty years at the beginning of the 20th century.The success and fame from these transcriptions earned him the name Bach-Moehlmann in the national band community. In the 1950's he composed a number of pieces for high school sight reading band contests.

The Municipal Band would often proofread his green ink, copper plate proof sheets by playing through and looking for errors in the music. In the 1960's he transcribed and published band arrangements of music by composers such as Mozart and Dvorak. He also wrote many band accompaniments for soloists who performed with the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band. Today, around 125 of his unpublished manuscripts exist. Many of these have been rented out and performed all over the USA.

While teaching a Cedar Rapids school, Roland L. Moehlmann was knocked down some stairs by an out of control student. The resulting back injury eventually led to arthritis of the spine. During the late 1960s he had become almost completely inmobilized. He underwent twelve major back operations, and survived a heart attack. Despite his constant pain he continued to direct the band, teach school , and arrange music. His deteriorating health required his resigning as Municipal Band director in 1968.


Source: Cedar Rapids Municipal Band Website; Coe College Website (2002)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (July 2010)

Roland L. Moehlmann: Short Biography | Arrangements/Transcriptions: Works | Recordings

Links to other Sites

Cedar Rapids Municipal Band: History of Conductors

Coe College Festival of Bands

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