Accent Newsletter header
Spring 2010
 Jeremy Kolwinska
Happy New Year! As you will see in the news sections below, Fall 2009 was very busy here in the Northwestern College Department of Music, and Spring 2010 promises to be just as productive. In addition to the usual array of concerts and events, departmental ensembles will be performing in venues as diverse as the Cathedral of Saint Paul here in the Twin Cities; the Sudan Interior Mission in Sebring, Florida; and churches in Latvia, Estonia, and Finland. If one of our ensembles is in your neighborhood, I hope you'll make an effort to attend!


It was nice to connect with many former music students at the Department of Music Reunion in October. I'd like to invite all music major alumni to attend our annual Alumni Reception at the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) Clinic on Friday, February 12, 5:30 - 7:30 p.m., at the Hilton Minneapolis, 1001 Marquette Avenue South. (You do not have to be registered for the MMEA clinic to attend the reception). This annual event at MMEA is a nice way for us to connect with our graduates - especially those music educators teaching around the state.


I'm often asked what it is that makes NWC's music department unique. On many levels, we look like other music departments: we teach the same classes, ensembles, and private lessons, and we strive to do all of these things with excellence. However, I believe that two things set us apart - heart and community. The "heart" of our department can be seen during ensemble prayer and devotions, in student practice room diligence, and in our concerts and recitals where students and faculty intentionally offer up their performance as worship (around here we call this "performing for an audience of One"). Since my arrival at NWC, I've also been impressed by the level of "community" and the deep friendships found among the music students. This community is cultivated by our faculty in their studios, classrooms, and rehearsals; and it is nurtured by ensemble retreats and tours. Those of you who participated in one of our ensembles as a student probably know what I'm talking about. My hope is that you have taken those lessons learned here at NWC and have transplanted them to your current musical situation - passing on that gift and creating those same experiences in your ensembles.


As always, we invite you to attend our concerts and events this semester. We'll save you a seat!

Jeremy Kolwinska, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music
Faculty News
Fall 2009 Highlights


Symphonic Band & Jazz Ensemble - Iowa, January 5-10

The Symphonic Band & Jazz Ensemble made their way through bitter cold and snow to Lake Mills and Waterloo, Iowa, performing symphonic masterworks and big band pieces at schools and churches in the area. They also had the opportunity to visit the Music Man museum in Mason City, Iowa. Due to blizzard conditions, a concert in Story City was cancelled; however, the band made the most of the situation and performed an impromptu concert at a Mason City Nursing Home instead!


Orchestra -

Florida, March 4-11

The Orchestra plans to spend their spring break in sunny Florida, performing orchestral symphonic literature at churches in Gainesville, Sebring, and Venice, and in a St. Petersburg school, as well as the Sudan Interior Mission in Sebring. 


Varsity Men's Chorus - Northern Minnesota, April 10-12
The Varsity Men's Chorus will travel north for a visit to Bemidji and LaPorte, Minnesota, this spring, bringing their enthusiastic songs and fraternal joy to the cold north! The tour will include church concerts and lively choral exchanges in local high schools. 


College Choir - 

Baltic Tour, 
May 18-31        Exciting plans are shaping up for a long-anticipated Baltic Tour in May 2010 with concerts in Latvia, Estonia and Finland.  We hope you will join us for one of two upcoming festive Bon Voyage Concerts for 2010 Baltic Tour in featured concerts on Christian Fine Arts series at Christ Presbyterian Church, Edina (Friday, May 7 at 7:30 p.m.) and Music Series at the magnificent Cathedral of Saint Paul (Sunday, May 9 at 7:30 p.m.) These concerts are free and open to the public, and will feature the world premiere of "O Crux Splendidor" composed for the tour by Illinois composer John Orfe, and performed by the Choir and guest artist Jeremy Kolwinska on trombone.

Congratulations to December graduates!


Bachelor of Arts in General Music:

Stephanie Cousins

Michael DeBoer

Adam Nowak

Kristina Plumer

Jessica Thiessen

Jon Visser

Abby Wood


Bachelor of Music Education:

John Guidry

Allison Leach

Julie Powell

Kathryn Stafford

Peter Swanson


Accent Newsletter header 

Senior Vocal Music Education Major, Natalie Cromwell, has been invited to be the vocalist for the South Dakota Jazz Orchestra, a professional music ensemble based in Sioux Falls, her home town.  She plans to perform with the group this summer and whenever her schedule allows. Their website is:


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1/25    Faculty Artist Series: Hidden Treasures

             David Kozamchak, violin, Barbara Rogers, piano

             (7:30 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)

3/15    Faculty Artist Series: Frisch & Friends...a Sextet of Strings

             Roger Frisch, violin, and Minnesota Orchestra colleagues

             (7:30 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)

3/29    Faculty Artist Series: Faculty Collage                   

             Featuring faculty soloists and chamber ensembles

             (7:30 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)

4/17    Faculty Artist Series: Diamonds in the Rough:

            Songs about Baseball and Life

              Carol Eikum, soprano, and Charles Kemper, piano;

              with David Evan Thomas, narrator, Michele Frisch, flute

               (7:30 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)                                           



2/1        Master Class:  Ksenia Nosikova, piano (11:15 a.m.)

              Guest Artist Recital: Ksenia Nosikova, piano

         (7:30 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)                                   

4/29      Jazz Ensemble Concert with Guest Artist:Dave Graf, trombone

                 (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)



1/14        Symphonic Band with Jazz Ensemble

                Homecoming Concert (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

2/6          Concerto-Aria Competition (1:00 p.m., Nazareth Chapel)

2/27        Symphonic Band Concert

                (7:30 p.m., Trinity Baptist Church,

                                  2220 Edgerton St, Maplewood, MN)

3/2           Jazz Ensemble Concert (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

3/16         Orchestra Homecoming Concert (7:30 p.m. Maranatha Hall)

3/26,27   Opera Workshop: Operatic Proposals

                (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

4/19        Chamber Ensembles Recital (7:00 p.m.Nazareth Chapel)     

4/20        Women's Chorale and Varsity Men's Chorus Concert

                (7:30 p.m., Maranath Hall)

4/29        Jazz Ensemble Concert with Guest Artist: Dave Graf, trombone

                 (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

5/1          Symphonic Band Concert (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

5/4          Orchestra & Concerto-Aria Winners (7:30 p.m., Maranatha Hall)

5/7          College Choir Bon Voyage Concert #1

                (7:30 p.m., Christ Presbyterian Church,

                                  6901 Normandale Rd, Edina MN)

5/9          College Choir Bon Voyage Concert #2

                (7:30 p.m., Cathedral of Saint Paul, 239 Selby Ave, St. Paul MN)



STUDENT RECITALS (1:20 pm in Nazareth Chapel)

2/4         Jr/Sr Recital: Shawn Fletcher, tenor, Angela Van Loon, soprano 

2/18       Senior Recital: Shaylee Carlson, soprano, Natalie Cromwell, soprano

2/25       Senior Recital: Jordan Cox, flute, Curt Folkestad, baritone          

3/18       Senior Recital: Rebecca Osten, piano

4/1         Jr/Sr Recital: Devon Berfeldt, clarinet, Lesley Rushton, flute    

4/29       Senior Recital: Kimberly Carlson, clarinet, Laura Miller, mezzo-soprano

5/6         Senior Recital: Chloe Paulson, horn

All events are free and open to the public.

Information: Music Event Details or Music Office 651-631-5218.

Faculty News

In October 2009 Dr. Mary Kay Geston, Associate Professor of Music, was a headliner at the South Dakota Music Educators Association conference in Rapid City where she presented two interest sessions and two choral music reading sessions. Additionally, she conducted the Minnesota State Community and Technical College Thirty-Sixth Annual High School Choral Festival in Fergus Falls and presented a session at the Minnesota Music Educators Association Fall Conference for college students. In November 2009, Dr. Geston conducted the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota 7-8 Girls Anacrusis Honor Choir and presented a clinic for the Bel Canto Choir at Roseville High School. 


In January 2010, Dr. Geston was one of two invited American clinicians to work with the Pilgrim Mission Choir in Daegu City, South Korea. The Pilgrim Mission Choir's goal is "to make a contribution to church music and the Christian community through choral singing with the highest possible artistic standards." The choir won the Grand Prix for Music Sacra a cappella performance at the Second International Choir Olympics, the first prize at the Jeju National Choir Competition, and is ranked ninth on the Musica Mundi World Ranking List of the top fifty choirs that sing sacred music. Additionally, Dr. Geston was the guest conductor of the North Dakota ACDA All Collegiate Honor Choir and presented a session titled "Making the Case: Music Matters for Music's Sake" at the North Dakota ACDA state conference. 

In September, Dr. Cheryl Kelley performed in  the midwest premiere of Dominic Argento's Of Love and Angels (bassoon) with VocalEssence. Dr. Kelley will be performing the Rite of Spring and the Firebird in the Stravinsky Festival (combined SPCO and MO) during the week of January 18-24.
Dr. Kelley
and the Northwestern College Chapter of MENC co-hosted (with the University of Saint Thomas) the Fall Collegiate Music Educator's Clinic on October 16-17. A number of dynamic music educators, including Dr. Mary Kay Geston, were clinicians. The highlights of the clinic were opportunities for the collegiate students to perform in a gamelan orchestra and in an exciting movement session with a Dalcroze expert. The clinic was held at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley.
Fall 2009 Highlights
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_____________above: Karl Meyers working the Instrument "Petting Zoo."
Orchestra Children's Concert
The Orchestra partnered with the NWC Academy of Music on November 12 to create an evening of music, fun, and imagination.  The event began at 6:30 p.m. with an arts and crafts area, refreshments, and an Instrument "Petting Zoo" where Academy instructors offered children the opportunity to touch and play real orchestra instruments.  The evening culminated at 7:30 p.m. when the NWC Orchestra performed a concert that featured the classic tale of Peter and the Wolf, with a special narration by NWC faculty member, Doreen Hutchings, and enhanced with a power point presentation with illustrations by Peter Malone. With the assistance of an ad that aired on KTIS, Maranatha Hall was bursting at the seams with around 1,200 children and their families in attendance. As a result of the incredible success of this program, we are looking at the possibility of making it an annual event with a different theme each year.  Be sure and check the fall calendar to see when next year's event will be held.
College Choir at 2009 Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival
The 80-voice Northwestern College Choir under the direction of Timothy Sawyer, performed by invitation of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN) at the 2009 Minnesota Collegiate Choral Festival on November 14 in Benson Great Hall. Sponsored by the F. Melius Christiansen (FMC) Endowment Fund Committee and ACDA-MN, the festival featured four other college choirs including the Minnesota State University-Mankato Concert Choir, St. John's University Men's Chorus, University Singers from University of Minnesota Duluth, and University of St. Thomas Chamber Singers. Each choir sang individually and also in a massed choir of nearly 400 voices under the direction of Dr. Craig Jessop, head of the music department at Utah State University in Logan, Utah, and former director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. As a grand finale for the Festival Concert, the combined choirs premiered a large-scale commissioned choral work entitled "look up...". [sic], composed specifically for this festival by Minnesota native Eric William Barnum.
NATS winners
On November 6 and 7, 32 Northwestern College (NWC) singers, seven student observers, three voice teachers (Carol Eikum, Doreen Hutchings, and Cathy Larsen) and four accompanists (Leonard Danek, Marlis Fenton, Janet Scovill and Barbara Rogers) attended the 2009 Minnesota Singing Auditions held at St. John's University near St. Cloud, Minnesota. Around 300 high school and college singers from Minnesota participated.  The results are found below.  Soli deo gloria (To God alone be the glory!).

NATS winners:
Natalie Cromwell
Shawn Fletcher
Jessica Laeger
Hannah Lindahl
Michele Lindeman
Jason Meyer
Maria Moua
Barrett Radziun
Hastings Reeves
Angela Van Loon

Shaylee Carlson - 2nd Place
  (College Women, through age 21)
Brad Halbersma - 3rd Place
  (College Men, through age 19)


If you have noteworthy news to share with us about students or alumni, please send your comments to
God bless you,
Lori Bunce
Project Coordinator, Concerts & Recitals/Ensemble Tours

Northwestern College