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Summer 2010
 Jeremy Kolwinska

The 2009-2010 school year ended with the usual climax of concerts, recitals, and activities that mark the end of each academic year. Amid the crescendo of year-end activities, we also bid farewell to our colleague, Monte Mumford, who has served as Director of Bands for five years. Monte and his wife, Kathy, are heading home to Australia. We are grateful for the legacy of excellence he has left behind.
This summer, many of our students and faculty will be involved in musical and professional activities all around the globe. To start my summer, I had the privilege of accompanying the NWC College Choir on their Baltic Tour of Estonia, Latvia, and Finland. As you will read below and on the tour blog, it was a very powerful experience on many levels (musically, educationally, spiritually) for all of us who went. The Baltic region has a fine tradition of choral singing, and it was wonderful to connect with that tradition and to meet fellow believers in those countries.
Summer is always a valuable time of refreshing, as we prepare for another school year. This fall we will welcome a new Director of Bands - Mr. John Herlihy. John is coming to us from Upper Dublin, Pennsylvania, and you can read more about him below. We will also welcome another great class of new students joining us in the fall, who will begin their journeys here in the Department of Music.
Thanks for your continued support of the NWC Department of Music.


Jeremy Kolwinska, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music
Faculty News
Faculty Artist Series Recitals
Tour Reports

Congratulations to 2010 graduates!


Bachelor of Arts in General Music:

Andrea Needham

Andrew Nelson 
Faith Temte

Bachelor of Music Education:

Neil Baumgartner III

Jacob Notch 

Bachelor of Science in Educational Studies/ Music Education:

Crystal Vorderbruggen


Bachelor of Music in Music Performance:

Mikki Johnston

Rebecca Osten
Chloe Paulson





Rebecca Osten,  Music Performance major and student of Dr. Leonard Danek, won the MMTA College Division in organ this past February in St. Cloud, MN.  The officiating judge was Dr. Kim Kasling of St. John's University, Collegeville, MN.




Freshman Seoyon Lim, student of Dr. Barbara Rogers, performed in both Minnesota Music Teachers Association College Young Artist auditions and Schubert Club scholarship auditions.  




The NWC Symphonic Band, conducted by Monte Mumford, gave a concert for Wayzata High School on April 15.  They also performed a 30-minute worship program for both Sunday Services at the First Evangelical Free Church of Maplewood on April 25.


The Trombone Quartet, featuring students John Baumgartner and Andrew Nelson, former NWC student Garrett Lahr, and faculty Monte Mumford,  played for two Masses at the Cathedral of Saint Paul on February 28 and again on May 9 as prelude to the College Choir Bon Voyage concert.

The NWC Brass Ensemble, coached by Monte Mumford, played for the 5 p.m. Mass at Cathedral of Saint Paul on April 18.  Ensemble members are Janelle Hamre, Michael Hebert, Ashley Tuley and Taylor Higdon on trumpet, Chloe Paulson, Paul Rothermel and Rebecca Osten on horn, John Baumgartner, Stefan Swanson, David Naglak and Heath Olson on trombone, Andrew Nelson on euphonium, and Michael Daniels on tuba.

Opera Workshop presented Operatic Proposals


On Friday and Saturday, March 26 and 27, Opera Workshop, directed by Doreen Hutchings, presented Menotti's The Telephone, performed in its entirety by Shaylee Carlson and Barrett Radziun, with a small orchestra directed by David Kozamchak.  The production also included a variety of duets, solos and ensemble pieces from The Marriage of Figaro, The Magic Flute, The Bartered Bride, Oliver, Carousel, The Merry Wives of Windsor, and Julius Caesar.  Opera Workshop vocalists included Beth Behling, Kurt Bender, Shaylee Carlson, Natalie Cromwell, Laura Dowding, Curt Folkestad, Matthew Hagestuen, Brad Halbersma, Kristina Iwan, Bethany Jackson, Jessica Laeger, Michele Lindeman, Hannah Lindahl, Laura Miller, Maria Moua, Justin Myhra, Emily Ohman, Barrett Radziun, Hastings Reeves, and Angela Van Loon.  Accompanists were Barbara J. Rogers and Janet Scovill.


Orchestra concert 

with Concerto-Aria winners


The Orchestra (52 members strong), conducted by David Kozamchak, opened their May 4th performance with Rossini's "Overture" from Semiramide, and the concert concluded with Rimsky-Korsakov's brilliantly virtuosic Capriccio Espagnol, Op. 34.


Also featured in this concert were orchestral pieces performed with the winners of the Concerto-Aria competition held in February.  Aria (vocalist) winner Barrett Radziun, tenor,  senior Vocal Performance major and student of Carol Eikum, performed as tenor soloist with the Orchestra on Benjamin Britten's "Inkslinger's Song" from Paul Bunyan, Op. 17. Concerto (instrumentalist) winner Annabel Naglak, pianist, Junior Performance major and student of Dr. Barbara Rogers, performed the first movement of Robert Muczynski's Piano Concerto No. 1, Opus 7



The Orchestra Symphony in the Sun 2010 Florida tour this spring was joined by alumni Nikkia Hall (Dec '09), Janelle Lanz ('07), and Kristin Cassada (Spring '09) on violin, Nicholas Germann ('06), trumpet, and Todd Hanson ('06) trombone.  Nick and Todd also kindly added a few extra travel days driving the truck to Florida, filled with orchestra instruments and donations for Haiti. 

This spring, several orchestra alumnae who performed in the Opera Workshop production:  Cindy (Ooms) Germann ('07), flute, Kristin Cassada ('09), violin, Nikkia Hall ('09),  viola, and Julie Powell ('09), bass.

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Music Department News

ABC World News Profiles Ground-Breaking Surgery for Roger Frisch


This spring, Roger Frisch, violinist with the Minnesota Orchestra and NWC faculty member, underwent a cutting-edge deep brain stimulation procedure for a recently-diagnosed condition called "essential tremors." This condition occurs when sections of the brain that control movement send abnormal signals, often adversely affecting hand movements. For Frisch, his right hand would shake uncontrollably when he held the bow to his violin. He was able to hide these tremors for several years, but the shaking did become noticeable more recently. In an interview with ABC World News with Diane Sawyer,* Frisch said, "I was playing these solos and could no longer draw a straight movement with the bow. This was either the end of my career or drill holes in my head."


So on February 8, 2010, Frisch underwent a nationally-publicized surgery with violin in hand. He later commented that " was quite fascinating being awake and an actual participant in the procedure." Dr. Kendall Lee, director of the Mayo Clinic Neural Engineering Laboratory, with his team of surgeons, implanted two electrodes that allowed tiny electronic pulses to be sent from a pacemaker-like device into the brain. The surgeons were able to watch Frisch play his violin and determine if the electronic pulses they were sending to his brain actually eased the tremors in his right hand. Even during surgery, Frisch's tremors eased and he gained back control of his hands. "It was truly remarkable, enough that the entire room broke out in applause," said Frisch.

The fact that Frisch was able to recover so quickly from surgery and perform for the March 15th Faculty Artist Series recital was truly amazing. Roger and Michele Frisch are very grateful for God's guidance and healing. 

(*Watch the ABC News clip.)

Farewell to Monte Mumford, Director of Bands 2005-2010


Monte Mumford is retiring after five years at NWC and moving back to his beloved family in Australia. A farewell reception was held in his honor after his final Symphonic Band concert on May 1, in the Totino Fine Arts lobby. His Symphonic Band students honored him with a personalized memory book holding photos and memories from the past five years, as well as a final performance of Londonderry Air by Percy Grainger, with Michael Hebert conducting.

Mr. Mumford has left an indelible mark on the NWC band program--setting very high standards for excellence, while maintaining a consistent focus of doing everything for the glory of God. He has led the Symphonic Band, Jazz Ensemble, and various Brass and Trombone ensembles throughout the years. Under his leadership, NWC ensembles have conquered challenging repertoire and turned out inspiring performances.  


Welcome to John Herlihy, Director of Bands, August 2010

The Department of Music is pleased to announce the hiring of Mr. John Herlihy as Director of Bands at Northwestern College, beginning August 2010. Prior to his appointment at Northwestern, he served as the Supervisor of Performing Arts and Director of Bands at public high schools in Long Island, New York and southeastern Pennsylvania. Mr. Herlihy holds a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from West Chester University in Pennsylvania and a Master of Science in Music Education from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College in New York. Additional studies include a Supervisory Certification in Music from Temple University, and he is currently completing his doctoral studies in Conducting/Music Education at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, where he studies with William Berz.

Faculty News
Marlis Fenton, part-time staff accompanist in the music department for nine years (2001-10) and hand bell choir director for one year (2008-09), will be leaving Northwestern College this spring and relocating to Mesa, Arizona, with her family. In Fenton's own words, "I have thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to get to know faculty, staff & students alike over the 9 years I've had the opportunity to work at Northwestern.  What a blessing it has been to be a part of such a great, grace-filled, growing program!"
In late January and early February, Dr. Mary Kay Geston was the guest conductor of the 2010 South Dakota ACDA Women's Junior Honor Choir, and was a clinician for the Marquette University Choral Festival in Milwaukee and the Treble Choir Festival at North Branch High School in Minnesota. Additionally, she was a clinician for the Irondale High School Concert Choir in February, adjudicated a large group conference at Edina High School in March, and was the guest conductor for the Lake Conference Treble Choir Gathering at Rosemount High School in April. In May she served as Audition Artistic Advisor for the Minnesota Chorale. While on sabbatical during spring semester, Geston focused on writing a book about American choral icon Dale Warland and the Dale Warland Singers. Geston recently completed a six-year term as president-elect, president, and past president for ACDA-MN, is a member of the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund committee, serves on the editorial board for "Melisma," the news magazine for North Central ACDA, and is the new president-elect for the North Central American Choral Directors Association.


On April 8, Monte Mumford presented a Conducting Clinic for the Maple Grove High School Symphonic Band program. On Friday, April 16, Mumford performed solo trombone on the premiere performance of John Orfe's O Crux with the Two Rivers Chorale, conducted by Timothy Sawyer, at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Shoreview.


On March 1-6, 2010, Timothy Sawyer, Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities, was the guest conductor for an international choral festival - the ACSI (Association of Christian Schools International) Asia Honor Choir hosted by the International Christian School in Shek Mun, Hong Kong. This high school choral festival featured around 100 singers from participating international schools throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim. Joining him as student mentor/section leaders were NWC music majors Shaylee Carlson, Natalie Cromwell, Barry Radziun and Curt Folkestad. Immediately following the Hong Kong festival, on March 11-12, Sawyer returned to the USA to be the guest conductor for the ACSI California Musicale at Lake Avenue Congregational Church in Pasadena. This large choral and vocal festival featured 750 high school singers from southern California, and for that he was joined by NWC student mentors/section leaders soprano Angela Van Loon, alto Laura Miller, tenor Shawn Fletcher and baritone Curt Folkestad.


Matthew Wilson, NWC French horn instructor, was guest principal horn with the Florida Orchestra in Tampa/St. Petersburg this past season, performing and recording Dvorak's New World Symphony under the musical direction of Stefan Sanderling.



Spring 2010 Faculty Artist Series Recitals 
Hidden Treasures on Monday, January 25

Faculty artists David Kozamchak, violin, and Barbara Rogers, piano, delighted the audience with an evening of unusual violin sonatas, suites and stanzas by seldom-celebrated composers such as William Grant Still, Bohuslav Martinu, Irene Britton Smith, Alan Hovhaness, and Mary Carr Moore, a personal favorite of Dr. Rogers as well as the subject of her doctoral research. According to Rogers, these "hidden treasures" are often "good pieces that deserve to be heard but have been neglected because of prejudice against their composers (because of their race or sex) or ignorance of their existence (because their composers were not taken seriously during their lifetimes)." Rogers and Kozamchak share the joy of finding and playing these undiscovered treasures.


Frisch and Friends...a Sextet of Strings on Monday, March 15

The audience was privileged and delighted to hear this performance of Roger Frisch, violin, NWC faculty member and Minnesota Orchestra Associate Concertmaster, along with five of his colleagues from the Minnesota Orchestra - Katja Linfield, cello, Milana Reiche, first violin, Anthony Ross, principal cello, Thomas Turner, principal viola, and Matthew Young, acting assistant principal viola. These professional musicians masterfully performed Schoenberg's Verklarte Nacht and Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence. This performance was especially significant because of Roger Frisch's recent brain surgery - a dramatic and cutting-edge deep brain stimulation procedure on February 8 (see earlier article in this Accent issue).


Faculty Collage on Monday, March 29

Department of Music faculty presented a wide variety of solo, duet, and chamber ensemble performances, ranging from Baroque to Contemporary. The evening included a piece for woodwind quintet composed by Leonard Danek, as well as performances by Michele Frisch, flute, Cheryl Kelley, bassoon, Jeremy Kolwinska, trombone, Richard Lange, piano, Catherine McCord Larsen, soprano, Glen Larson, guitar, Julie Madura, oboe, Monte Mumford, trombone, Phil Norris, trumpet, Barbara J. Rogers, piano & harpsichord, Jan Possehl Scholl, clarinet, Matthew Wilson, horn, and guest artist Charles Kemper, piano.


Diamonds in the Rough: Songs about baseball & life

on Saturday, April 17
Featured faculty member Carol Eikum, soprano, and guest artist Charles Kemper, piano, along with guest narrator (and composer) David Evan Thomas, and faculty member Michele Frisch, flute & piccolo, hit a homerun (so to speak) with an unusual recital of recently composed and century-old songs all about baseball!  Eikum is a baseball mom with two sons who grew up playing baseball and who were her inspiration to bring together the two worlds of baseball and classical music. Fifteen years ago she began searching for classical art songs about baseball.  Not finding any, she decided to create some!  She found poetry and began commissioning composers such as David Evan Thomas, David Dickau, Jackson Berkey (of Mannheim Steamroller), Peter Hamlin, and Libby Larsen.  

This innovative recital included 9 innings, with a 7th inning stretch and sing-a-long of Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and two songs with flute, played by Michele Frisch, a female baseball player herself and the daughter of a Brooklyn Dodger, who also wrote the poetry for the songs!  NWC students, Shaylee Carlson, Natalie Cromwell, Bethany Jackson, Michele Lindeman, Brad Halbersma, Jacob Notch, Barrett Radziun, and Hastings Reeves, sang a few vintage baseball songs and acted as the crowd during Michele Frisch's reading of "Casey at the Bat."  The witty narration of David Evan Thomas (Eikum's first baseball song composer) was a meaningful addition to the night.   In Carol Eikum's words, "The song closest to my heart is 'Diamond Passage' by long-time friend David Dickau, set to a poem I wrote after my oldest son Jesse's 14-year-old team played on the full-size diamond for the first time.  That day the coach handed out a touching article to all the parents about this rite of passage in a boy's life as seen by a baseball dad.  It moved me to write the poem from a mother's perspective in response.... With my two sons handing out programs at the door, what more could a baseball mom singing professor ask for?!"

Tour Reports



The NWC Orchestra headed south to Florida during spring break for their week-long "Symphony in the Sun" Tour.  Even though the weather was a bit cooler than usual (50 degree temperatures) they had a great time taking their music to the Sunshine State.  Thanks to Tour Director Julie Johnson, the tour went off without a hitch.  Highlights of the tour included performances in Gainesville, Sebring, Venice, and St. Petersburg.  While in Sebring, the Orchestra had the privilege of being a part of a bible conference held at the Sudan Interior Mission.  The Orchestra was also able to partake in helping the victims of Haiti by collecting boxes of canned goods and baby items from NWC students and staff, and bringing the items to Florida.  They spent an afternoon at Harvest Time International in Sanford, Florida, packing donations to be shipped directly to Haiti.


Of course, the students also had opportunities to take in the sights that Florida had to offer.  The students enjoyed a night in Orlando the first night of the tour as well as the Sarasota Jungle Garden.  And, what trip to Florida would be complete without going to the beach?  Although local Florida residents tended to stay away from the beach during the unseasonably cool weather, some Northwestern students were brave enough to go for a swim in the (VERY cool) Gulf of Mexico.  The tour ended with a stay in the very hip Postcard Inn right on the beach in St. Pete.  Walking into the hotel was like walking back in time to the surfer-cool 1950s.


The Orchestra's theme throughout the year has been humility based on Philippians 2:3-4.  The students of the NWC Orchestra represented the college and the gospel with integrity and humility everywhere they went and in each concert that they played.  One woman at the concert in Gainesville summed up what type of students we have at Northwestern by writing the following: "How can I express how much I enjoyed the evening?  I truly believe God was smiling as you praised Him with your music.  People often forget where their talent comes from; you haven't!"




From May 18-31, the 79-voice Northwestern College Choir, under the direction of Prof. Timothy Sawyer, embarked for the first time ever on a concert, ministry and cross-cultural tour of the Baltic countries of Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

In the early 1990's,  the Soviet freedom movement, now called "The Singing Revolution," took place when over a million people from that region sang their solidarity for freedom from Soviet rule by forming a human chain from the Russian border through Estonia and Latvia, and to the Lithuanian border with Poland. The College Choir's response was a musical program entitled "Sacred Bridges" focusing on the ultimate Sacred Bridge: The Cross of Christ as the bridge between God and all people of the world. One significant piece was O Crux - an amazing piece about the Cross, composed especially for the Choir and trombonist/guest artist Jeremy Kolwinska by American composer John Orfe.


Tour performances began in Riga, Latvia at the Riga Dome Cathedral, and continued on to the Estonian cities of Tartu, Narva (on the Russian border) and Talinn at the famous Oleviste Church, and finally in the Finnish cities of Turku and Helsinki. In Turku, the Choir was hosted by members of a Finnish university and community chamber choir who joined them at the end of the concert to sing Finlandia, the beloved hymn by Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Augmenting outstanding musical and cross-cultural ministry, members of the College Choir were hosted in two homestays with host families, one in Estonia and another in Finland, and visited many cultural landmarks and historic sites. Among many outstanding concert highlights was the eerie interior of St. Aleksandr's Church in Narva, Estonia. Here are words from Julie Johnson, tour director (5/25/10):  

            ...A highlight happened for me the other night as we were performing in an old cathedral that is located on the Russian border. The building was bombed in WWII and used as a warehouse during Soviet occupation. It has mystery and history in its walls. I welcomed the people and handed them a program as they came in. They are a reserved people who usually only nodded at my smile and poor attempts to say hello to each. But there is such resolve in their eyes, in the lines of their faces that have seen so much struggle and persecution. They have survived. They will survive. I am honored to have met them and in some small way bring pleasure to their lives through the music that is shared. As the choir's voices were raised in beautiful harmony and filled the dome of the cathedral, tears ran down my face. Tears I don't fully understand but embrace just the same. I was exhausted from little sleep due to jet lag and the busyness.... Some of the tears might have been for that. But mostly, I feel honored, for a tiny moment of time in history, to have known this place, this people, these emotions. I have discovered a beauty in the world I didn't know existed.

And then there was the final Saturday concert and Sunday worship service in the famous Tempelliaukio (Rock Church) in Helsinki.  In Anna Osborne's words (5/30/10 student blog):  "The Temppeliaukio Church [in Finland], otherwise known as the Church of the Rock (for more info and photos, go here) is where we were blessed to sing... This church is actually carved into the rock, and the roof compels you to look up into the light. There is no way we should have been able to perform as well as we did - one of our best concerts for this tour - yet I can only attribute it to our choir being established and firmly grounded on the Rock Jesus Christ, and constantly looking up into the light of His face. As we offered Him everything that we had to give - our sickness, exhaustion and frustration as well as our exuberance, joy, and love - He took our helpless selves and transformed us into a work of beauty, using us to make His name great and greatly known."

The tour was full of highlights, but there was sadness as well.  On the night before the Choir left for Europe, Mr. Sawyer's father suffered a massive stroke, resulting in Mr. Sawyer joining the tour a day late.  His father subsequently died during the tour, but God was faithful and at the end of the tour Mr. Sawyer wrote this:

This was probably the best two weeks of my life. Not the way I would have planned it, but surrounded by my Choir "family "during each day, and with their amazing singing in our concerts to keep us focused on the task at hand, there was nowhere else in the world I could be but on this tour. I know my dad wanted me to go, and my wife, children and an army of friends from our faith community loved, supported and prayed us through a difficult two weeks. I am once again humbled and uplifted by God's faithfulness, and the words of "...look up" mean so much more to me now:  "O doubter of the Light, confused by fear and wrong. Lean on the heart of night and let Love make thee strong!" Soli Deo Gloria indeed.

To read more words from Tim Sawyer and the tour blog, as well as a sonnet written for the choir by a Swedish college professor who heard the choir in Finland, please go to the NWC Choir's blog.


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

Northwestern College