Lillehaug, Leland Arthur
February 11, 1927 – July 9, 2018
Age 91 of Edina, MN – Nationally prominent bandmaster, age 91, of Edina, Minnesota, and formerly of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, died July 9, 2018, in Minneapolis. Leland was born February 11, 1927, on the family farm near Lane, South Dakota, the youngest of Peter and Johanna (Endahl) Lillehaug’s three children. He attended a one-room schoolhouse and graduated in 1944 as valedictorian from Lane High School. He enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving as drum major and clarinetist with the 71st Army Band in Panama. In 1951 he graduated magna cum laude from Augustana College in Sioux Falls; while there, he was student body president and student band conductor. Leland married his childhood sweetheart, Ardis Scheel, June 10, 1951 in Lane. The couple lived for a year in Vienna, Austria, where Leland studied at the Academy of Music as Augustana’s first Fulbright scholar. He completed his Master of Arts in music in 1953 at the Eastman School of Music. In 1956, after three years as band director at Waverly, Iowa public schools, he became professor of music and director of bands at Augustana. He obtained a Ph.D. from Eastman in 1962 and continued as Augustana’s director of bands for 25 years. Twice he was chairman of the music department. He retired in 1991. In his 35 years at Augustana he touched the lives of thousands of students. He developed a robust band program, including the nationally-touring Augustana Concert Band, which now rehearses in the Lillehaug Instrumental Rehearsal Room. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2007. As director of the Sioux Falls Municipal Band for 23 years, he conducted more than 900 concerts. Leland performed professionally on bassoon, clarinet, and saxophone with symphony orchestras, concert bands, dance bands, and traveling shows. He was elected to the American Bandmasters Association and the South Dakota Bandmasters Hall of Fame. He was president of the Association of Concert Bands, which annually bestows the Leland A. Lillehaug President’s Award. Leland was active at Our Savior’s and First Lutheran Church in Sioux Falls and Normandale Lutheran in Edina. Leland and Ardis lived in their Sioux Falls home for 50 years before moving to Edina in 2006 to be near their children. During retirement, Leland stayed busy guest conducting, traveling, fishing, hunting, golfing, playing pool, and watching the Twins. Grateful for sharing his life are his wife, Ardis; sons David (Winifred Smith) and Steven (Tanya Oyos), Minneapolis; daughter Laurie Anderson (Jeff), Edina; grandchildren Amy Larson (Hans), Kara Lillehaug, and Peter Lillehaug; and great-grandson Henrik Larson. Leland was preceded in death by his parents, sister Adelia Davis, and brother Selmer Lillehaug.
Special thanks to the staff at Jones-Harrison Residence in Minneapolis for their compassionate care. A celebration of Leland’s life will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 14, at Normandale Lutheran Church, 6100 Normandale Road, Edina, MN. Memorials are suggested to the Lillehaug Instrumental Rehearsal Room fund at Augustana University or the Normandale Lutheran Church Foundation. (Published in the Argus Leader on July 11, 2018).