About the CCWE
Capital City Wind Ensemble was
founded in 2002 at the request of Mayor Randy Kelly. He called on
longtime conductor and impresario, Max Metzger, to form a City employee
Max Metzger had led vocal and instrumental
ensembles for 50 years in Saint Paul, most notably with the St.
Paul Opera Workshop and with the Sunday Como Pops series. Max was
a highly accomplished bassoonist, having played with the Minneapolis
Symphony Orchestra (now the Minnesota Orchestra) under the direction
of Antal Dorati and Stanislaw Skrowaczewski.
The Capital City Wind Ensemble (CCWE) grew
from a few people in the fall of 2002 to a 24-member concert band.
Comprised mostly of City employees, the group rehearsed in City
Hall and Annex facilities in Downtown St. Paul. Workers from other
Downtown businesses joined, and so did some City retirees and friends.
Together, they made a complete ensemble, capable of playing full
arrangements of concert band literature, show tunes, and specialty
tunes that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences.
Shortly before starting the CCWE, Max had suffered
a stroke. Most doctors felt he would never be able to conduct music
again. With the steadying help of his loving wife, Lil, Max was
able to continue his lifelong passion for making music. When Lil
became ill and died suddenly in 2004, life became even more difficult
for Max. Larry Jennie generously stepped in to help Max, and also
became a member of two of his ensembles, joining the groups as an
Max was able to continue with his groups until
six days before he died in the summer of 2006. In the fall of that
year, Mary Livingston and Roger Grupp took up the baton(s) as co-leaders
of the Capital City Wind Ensemble, and the group has continued to
Mayor Chris Coleman is a
fervent supporter. He says, "There is a pride in Saint Paul
that is unmatched in other cities, and the Capital City Wind Ensemble
personifies that pride. The City’s employees who come together
to form this ensemble show that the soul of Saint Paul is alive
and vibrant. I hope everyone gets the opportunity to hear these
musical ambassadors of the Most Livable City in America."