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Fall 2010
 Jeremy Kolwinska

Perfection -- it's part of our wiring as artists. How many times have you walked away from a great performance completely obsessed with the one phrase or single note that did not go well, forgetting about all the other elements of the performance that did go well? In his book The Heart of the Artist, Rory Noland talks about the difference between perfection and excellence. If you are like me, this is an issue you struggle with frequently as an artist -- an unhealthy obsession with perfection. Noland takes great care in showing a better way -- a pursuit of excellence for the glory of God.

The descriptions of Old Testament worship include many examples of skilled artists developing and practicing their art with great excellence to be used in the temple, and there are plenty of exhortations in the Psalms (Ps. 33:3) and other places (like Col. 3:23) to develop and hone our skills for the glory of God. Unlike perfection (which is an objective, unmovable, and unattainable standard), excellence is defined by the resources (such as talent, time, and money) that God has given you. For example, if God had called me to pursue excellence in basketball (thankfully he hasn't), my standard for excellence would be quite different from an NBA player's standard in that area. My resources of basketball talent and athleticism are quite low. On the other hand, God has equipped me with gifts useful in my callings as a trombonist, a teacher, and a department chair. It is my responsibility to develop those gifts within the limits of my time and other resources.

So, as another school year begins here in the Department of Music at Northwestern College, I want to replace perfection with excellence as my goal, and I want to encourage the NWC Music Family (current students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends) to make excellence for the glory of God your goal in whatever you are doing. Stop obsessing over perfection. Develop your talent and skills within the resources God has given you and be excellent for His glory! 


Jeremy Kolwinska, D.M.A.

Chair, Department of Music
Faculty News
Academy of Music

Piano Tour Heads to Iowa 

On October 16-19, ten of our finest piano students and their instructors, Dr. Richard Lange and Dr. Barbara Rogers, will travel to Iowa to perform a Piano Extravaganza at a variety of churches and schools. 

October 16

Saturday, 7 pm

Roland-Story High School Story City, Iowa


October 17

Sunday worship, 8:30 & 11am

Harvest Evangelical Free Church, Story City, IA 

Sunday, 6:30 pm

First Baptist Church

Newton, Iowa

(home of youth pastors and former NWC  students, Zach & Katie (Kephart) Kerns. 


October 18 

Monday, 7 pm

Johnston Evangelical Free Church

Johnston, Iowa


October 19

Tuesday morning class

Johnston High School


October 21

Thursday, 1:20 pm

Homecoming concert


If you know alumni, family or Friends of Northwestern College in one of these Iowa cities, we hope you will extend this invitation to attend these free concerts.  You can find more details on our website at



Richard Lange served as coordinator for the Piano Institute held July 25-31, 2010.  Hosted by the Academy of Music, the Piano Institute hosted a record 42 students for the week.  Activities included Theory, Piano Literature, Master Classes, Improvisation and Lessons, as well as Ensemble and Solo recitals.  Instructors were Dr. Paul Wirth, Dr. Barbara Rogers, Drs. Chris and Megan Wallace, Dr. Leonard Danek, Renee Fletcher and Dr. and Mrs. Richard Lange.  We had a great time at the Institute! 

NWC student Kristin Myhra and Alumni Rebecca Osten and Jon Visser were camp counselors.  Luke Norell performed a fabulous recital on Tuesday evening for the students.  He is preparing for a solo doctoral recital in the fall at Indiana. (See Alumni News, below.)




April Fredrick, soprano, graduate of Northwestern College in 2002, successfully completed her doctorate at the Royal Academy of Music in London and graduated in June.  She has appeared as a soloist at venues including the Holywell Music Room and St. John's Smith Square and was a semi-finalist in the 2009 Kathleen Ferrier Awards and the 2009 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition. She was nominated as representative for the Royal Academy of Music for the first Europaisches Liedforum in Berlin and has appeared regularly with the Lyric Song Salon at the Academy, where she earned an MMus in Vocal Studies. Recent performances include Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Kensington Chamber Orchestra, an appearance on the BBC Radio 4 program "Robert Winston's Musical Analysis: Ivor Gurney," and Villa Lobos' Bachianas Brasilieras no. 5 with The Midlands Sinfonia. She studies with Jane Highfield and Dominic Wheeler.


Luke Norell, NWC 2007 graduate with a B.A. degree in piano performance, completed his M.M. degree in piano performance at the Indiana University (IU) Jacobs School of Music (Bloomington Campus) in 2009, studying with André De Groote and André Watts. He was then accepted into the D.M. program for fall of '09, continuing as a student of Mr. Watts. Norell is currently studying for minors in Theory and Early Music to go along with his piano major field.  As part of this degree, he has performed the Beethoven Concerto #4 with orchestra, and a chamber music recital of piano trio music. This fall he will be playing one of his solo recitals for the degree.  During his time at IU, Norell has been employed as an Associate Instructor teaching IU students in private lessons and class piano, as well as maintaining a private piano studio of his own.


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  2        7:30 p.m.                Showcase (EC) * Featuring Dept. of Music ensembles
                                                       All tickets: $13 (includes dessert)
  4        7:30 p.m.                Christmas at Northwestern tickets go on sale.*
                                                       Concert tickets: Adults $13; Alumni $11;
                                                       Students/Seniors $8; NWC Students $5
  8        1:00 p.m.                Piano Master Class: Dr. Daniel Paul Horn, professor

                                                       Wheaton Conservatory of Music (NC) 

  9      10:00 a.m.                Guest Artist Recital: Music of Robert Schumann

                                                       Daniel Paul Horn, piano (NC)  

14       1:15 p.m.                 Vocal Master Class: Mary Dibbern, vocal coach

                                                       Head of Music, Minnesota Orchestra (NC)

21       1:20 p.m.                 Piano Tour Homecoming Recital (NC)


01         7:30 p.m.              Faculty Artist Series: Stellar Strings

                                                      Roger Frisch, violin,with Guest, Josef Lupták, cello

12         7:30 p.m.               Fall Choral Concert (MH)

13         7:30 p.m.               Symphonic Band Fall Concert (MH)

16         7:00 p.m.               Chamber Ensembles Recital (NC)

19         7:30 p.m.               Chamber Singers & Jazz Ensemble Fall Concert (MH)

20       10:45 a.m.           Women's Chorale at ACDA Convention St. Cloud, MN 

20         5:00 p.m.               Academy of Music Instrumental "Petting Zoo,"

                                                       crafts and refreshments (MH Lobby)

20         6:30 p.m.               Orchestra Fall Children's Concert (MH)





  3         7:30 p.m.                Christmas at Northwestern (MH) *

  4         7:30 p.m.                Christmas at Northwestern (MH) *

  5         3:00 p.m.                Christmas at Northwestern (MH) *

  5         5:30 p.m.                Dinner in the Blue Room (BR) * 

  9         7:00 p.m.                Concerto-Aria Competition (NC)


*Tickets are required.  All other events are free and open to the public.  Information: Music Event Details or Music Office at 651-631-5218.  
Faculty News
Bob Adney participated in the Skylark Opera Orchestra as percussion/ timpanist with performances of Bittersweet and The Merry Widow in June. He also played timpani with the Minneapolis Pops Orchestra during the month of July at Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. Additionally he taught at the Allegro Con Brio Orchestra camp in Wayzata and administrated and taught at the MacPhail Percussion and Mallet Keyboards camps at MacPhail Center for Music. He is developing a curriculum for MacPhail Center's Crescendo for Percussion, a program designed to document and encourage logical progress in the percussion family of instruments grades 5-12. 
On July 7, Dr. Leonard Danek played an organ recital at Wayzata Community Church as part of their Summer Organ Concert series. On the program were works by Bedard, Barnes, J.S. Bach, and three of his own organ compositions.
Dr. Mary Kay Geston
has been appointed to two new conducting positions in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud areas. 
VOICES OF EXPERIENCE: A Minnesota Chorale - MacPhail Center for Music steering committee has chosen Dr. Mary Kay Geston as conductor of Voices of Experience, a new and artistically ambitious chorus for Twin Cities' seniors, ages 55 and older. GREAT RIVER CHORALE:  Based in St. Cloud, Minnesota, Great River Chorale is a fifty-voice chamber choir composed of skilled amateur singers that seeks to provide superb performances of compelling music from all times and places. It is an integral part of the thriving central Minnesota arts community and is dedicated to imaginative collaborations with other area arts organizations. For more info, see "news" at  
Catherine McCord Larsen
, voice 
faculty member and soprano, taught voice for four weeks this summer at the Lutheran Summer Music, an auditioned high school academy and festival hosted this year by Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. In addition to her teaching there, she also performed in three faculty recitals and sang in a Bach Cantata as part of one of the Sunday services, set in a worship format similar to one heard during Bach's time.
Dr. Barbara Rogers
recently completed five years of service on the MMTA
Piano Examination
Development Committee, where she had particular responsibility for expanding upper-level repertoire choices (especially in music of the twentieth century and beyond) in the 2010 Syllabus that was presented at the state convention in June. In a related area, she accepted responsibility for the Senior and College Young Artist Contest Repertoire List, expanding the current list of repertoire choices and serving as arbiter of
requests for repertoire substitutions in the contest.
2009-2010 was a busy adjudicating year for Rogers.  Within the Twin Cities, in October she served as judge for the St. Paul Piano Teachers Association critiqued recital; in March, for the Minnesota Music Teachers Association's Young Artist Competition, the MMTA Composition Contest, and the Northwestern College Piano Solo Festival.  In wider Minnesota, she judged MMTA piano and theory syllabus exams for the New Ulm testing center in April, and the statewide Level XI exams in Collegeville in May. 

On the performance side, Rogers played Mozart's Concerto in D Minor, K. 466, with the Claremont Symphony Orchestra, conducted by its Associate Conductor Larry Lowder, on Sunday, June 13, on the Pomona College campus in Claremont, CA.  Since Mozart had left cadenzas for some of his concertos, but not this one, Rogers took the opportunity to exercise her compositional muscles by writing her own.  This performance was her third with the orchestra. 

Timothy Sawyer, Director of Choral Activities, spent three weeks in late June/early July on the University of Oregon campus in Eugene, teaching and coaching conductors at the Oregon Bach Festival, which this year celebrated its 40th anniversary.  In his role as associate director of the conducting master class, Mr. Sawyer coached and prepared 12 participant conductors and more than 20 auditors for sessions led by master teacher, conductor and internationally-known Bach scholar Helmuth Rilling.
Academy of Music
The Academy of Music offers lessons and ensembles to the community for all ages.  You are never too old to take up a new instrument!  If you are in the Twin Cities area and are looking to continue lessons on your instrument or learn a new one, we have instructors able to teach all skill levels.  A 2006 Gallup Poll found that the fastest growing segment of music makers today is between the ages of 18-34 with an increasing number of retirees pursuing music.  Lessons take place on campus or at one of our three satellite locations; New Brighton, Roseville and Shoreview.
A new offering this fall is the Jazz Improv Class which will be focusing on small group jazz learning phrasing of melody and accompaniment for intermediate level instrumentalists.  Consider brushing the dust off your instrument and joining other musicians on Monday nights at 7-8pm to play some Jazz!  To learn more, go to


NWC Students and Alumni in the COMMUNITY

Maple Grove Community Musical Theater
NWC students, alumni, and faculty joined the Bunce Backyard Production (BBP) of Into the Woods (family of Lori Bunce, NWC music office staff). Doreen Hutchings (NWC faculty) was vocal director, and David Norris ('04) directed the orchestra.  Cast members included students Shawn Fletcher and Shaylee Carlson, alumni Christine Anderson ('08), Todd Hanson ('06), and Eric Janssen ('09).Orchestra members included students Jordan Cox, Tracy Foslien, Janelle Hamre, alumni Mary Lee ('02), Karl Meyers ('09), Katie Stafford ('09), and previous staff member Tim Johnson.  Greg Bunce directed and performed (Greg Bunce was part of KTIS's Sunday Night Live radio program as a 1987-90 member of the Refreshment Committee musical drama ensemble and band). BBP seeks to provide excellent and inspirational musical theater to the community, as well as encourage generous giving to various local and national charities. 

New Theatre Company

The Postscript Theatre Company, under the executive direction of Tom and Karene Johnston (parents of Mikki Johnston '10), is a group of actors from around the Twin Cities area who gathered this past summer for the purpose of improving their craft and exploring the idea of actor-driven theatre.  The group seeks to inspire thought and the pursuit of Truth, continuing far after the curtain falls. The Diary of Anne Frank Workshop Performances in early July, directed by NWC Alumnus John Guidry ('09) with David Norris ('04) leading the ensemble cast as Mr. Otto Frank, were the first products of this approach. 


A Summertime Benefit Recital: produced by Zachor and the Postscript Theatre Company

Zachor is a group of local musicians dedicated to excellence in the performance of chamber music and passionate about impacting the community through musical performance. The recital was specifically dedicated to raising money (by freewill offering) for those whose lives have been torn apart by human trafficking. Proceeds went to Breaking Free, an organization providing local women with shelter, food, and immediate medical attention, as well as therapy, support groups and spiritual discipleship. NWC alumni, students, and staff involved: Mikki Johnston ('10), Julie (Powell) Guidry ('09), Nikkia Hall ('09), Kristin Cassada ('09), Jordan Cox (senior), and David Kozamchak (faculty).


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