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Mighty Oaks Wins Over European Audiences

May 08, 2017

The Berlin-based band Mighty Oaks, much like its namesake, has origins in the Pacific Northwest. Founding member Ian Hooper BA ’08 hails from Gig Harbor, Washington, and several of the band’s hits— like “Brother” and “The Great Northwest”—are due in no small part to his early life on the American West Coast.

Hooper graduated from Lewis & Clark with a double major in international affairs and German studies and fell in love with Germany during his overseas study program in Munich. As a junior, he studied the central workings of policy making at Deutscher Bundestag, the German parliament. Hooper cites his time in Munich for bettering his understanding of the language, literature, culture, and history of Germany.

After graduating from Lewis & Clark, Hooper went on to teach English in Germany as a Fulbright scholar. However, he was quickly led on a different path: music.

Hooper moved to Hamburg and formed the indie folk band Mighty Oaks alongside instrumentalists Claudio Donzelli and Craig Saunders. The band gained considerable attention online before the release of their first studio EP Just One Day in 2012, opening on tour for Kings of Leon and CHVRCHES in 2013, performing at South By Southwest (SXSW) in 2014 and at Lollapalooza in 2015.

Their first full length album Howl reached number 10 on the German Billboard charts. In February, the band released their second studio album, Dreamers, a mature and anthemic collection of songs that stays close to their acoustic roots. Mighty Oaks will spend the rest of 2017 on tour across Europe, making stops in Paris, London, and Brussels, among other cities, playing the album for their devoted fanbase.


German Studies Department International Affairs Department Overseas & Off-Campus Programs

This story was written by Scout Brobst ’20.


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