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Summer 2011

Hello, Friends of the Department of Music!

Jeremy Kolwinska



10,000 hours. That's what it takes to be excellent in something. Music, art, business, math, sports--it doesn't matter. Research shows that those who rise to the top in any field have reached or exceeded 10,000 hours of practice. This stands in stark contrast to the prevailing philosophy of our culture, which seems to attribute success to natural ability or talent versus hard work--just count the number of American Idol spin-offs on primetime television (never mind that most of the contestants' back stories reveal extraordinary sacrifice and practice leading up to their brief display of talent on the show's stage). When we hear an outstanding performance by a musician, watch an extraordinary athletic feat, or see a great work of art, we tend to say things like: "That person is gifted." God certainly bestows gifts and abilities on human beings, and to some people He has bestowed extraordinary ability. However, no matter what level of gift or ability a person has been given, what we fail to see is that behind that exquisite musical phrasing and control, that beautiful arc of the 3-point shot, and that meticulously-crafted work of art are those 10,000 hours of practice and work.


I used to think that work was a result of the fall in the Garden of Eden until a few years ago, when I discovered that God ordained work before the fall (Gen. 2:15). Work was part of God's perfect plan for us. There isn't space in this newsletter to unfold all the implications of this truth, but consider this--if God has called you to be a professional musician, no matter how much talent He has (or has not) given you, the means by which you will glorify Him in your vocation is hard work. Consider the parable of the talents (Matt. 25)--it is not enough to merely accept your talent/giftedness. You must develop it.


A few weeks back, I sat down to estimate when I reached 10,000 hours of practice on the trombone. Before I started, I guessed at the period in my life when I hit it--a point where I felt most confident as a performer. I got chills when that period turned out to be the exact time in my life when I hit the mark.


So, where are you on the journey toward 10,000 hours? Figure it out, then don't give up! As a good friend of mine says: "Honor God in the practice room!"


Have a great summer!



In His service, 
Jeremy Kolwinska, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music





Spring Tours
Faculty News




Check out the webpage and video about the new Music Ministry Emphasis here!



Congratulations to 

May 14, 2011 graduates!



Devon Berfeldt

Kevin Christopher

        (Summa Cum Laude)

Laura Dowding

Tristan Hanson

        (Magna Cum Laude)

Annabel Naglak

Hyeon-jin Christine Park

Michael Hebert
Lesley Rushton



Grace Peterson

        (Summa Cum Laude)




                 NEW CD FOR SALE!


In Spring 2011, just in time for its European tour, the NWC Orchestra released its first-ever recording. Orchestral Showcase, conducted by David Kozamchak, features live performances from from NWC Orchestra concerts from 2006 to 2010.

CDs are $15 each (or 2/$25) and can be purchased from the Department of Music office F2219. If you would like a CD mailed to you, shipping is $3. Send your check to: Northwestern College, 3003 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55113.


Jillian Aydelotte (junior, Vocal Performance major, student of Doreen Hutchings) will attend the Austrian American Mozart Academy in Salzburg, Austria, this summer. She is a scholarship recipient and will be performing the role of the 2nd Lady in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).


Seoyon Susanna Lim (sophomore, Piano Performance major, student of Barbara Rogers) took 3rd place in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association (MMTA) College Young Artist Contest. She will perform at 7 p.m. on June 7 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Plymouth as part of the MMTA state convention. (Open to the public.)


Padra Ann Maria Moua (junior, Vocal Performance major, student of Catherine Larsen) was accepted to the "Oberlin in Italy" program in Arezzo, Italy, this summer. Attending through the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, she will receive opera performance opportunities, private coaching, intensive language and cultural immersion, as well as college credit. Moua received a Schubert Club grant to help with tuition.


T. Hastings Reeves (sophomore, Vocal Performance major, student of Carol Eikum) took 1st place in the Thursday Musical College Level Intermediate Voice Competition and performed at their winners' concert in April. In addition, bass-baritone Reeves and tenor Brad Halbersma (junior, Vocal Performance major, student of Carol Eikum) were hired as soloists in the Lord Nelson Mass performed at North Heights Lutheran Church at the Roseville campus on May 21.


Alumni News

Hannah Celeste (Nelson) Lu


Hannah Celeste (Nelson) Lu

(Vocal Performance, 2003, former student of Carol Eikum) was soprano soloist with the South Dakota Symphony's performance of Handel's Messiah at the Washington Pavilion in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, in April, under the direction of Delta David Gier. Faculty member Carol Eikum attended the concert in Sioux Falls and reports that "her singing was sincere and beautiful, all the way up to the ornamented high E!" Lu received her master's degree in vocal performance from Rice University, studying with Stephen King. She was a professional singer with Houston Opera-to-Go program for several years and continues to sing with the Houston Grand Opera Chorus, and as a soloist for many choruses and orchestras. Lu lives in Houston with her husband Michael, and they are expecting their first child.


Jessica Thiessen

(General Music [piano] and Linguistics, 2009) will be serving with Wycliffe Bible Translators in August 2011 in Papua, New Guinea. Raised in a Christian family in eastern Montana, Jessica found herself being drawn by God toward Bible translation during her years at Northwestern. She applied with Wycliffe after graduation and became a member in May 2010. She began her training in April and will go to New Guinea in August to work long term alongside other missionaries and Papua New Guineans to translate Scripture into 1 of 800+ languages.


Barrett Radziun

(Vocal Performance, 2010, student of Carol Eikum) was one of only four students to be accepted to the prestigious new masters program at Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, NY) this fall, whose masters program is directed by the internationally famous soprano Dawn Upshaw. He was also accepted in the "Accademia d'Amore" summer program (Baroque opera program in Seattle, WA) this July. In addition, Radziun was 1st place co-winner of the Thursday Musical Young Artist Competition, College Level Advanced Voice Division and performed at their winners' concert in April. He also received a Schubert Club grant for his summer program participation. 





During the 2010-11 school year, the Academy of Music enrolled approximately 500 individual students per semester, with a total of 835 registrations from August 2010 to April 2011, taught by 80 instructors.


Summer Music Camps:

(There's still time to register!)


NEW!! Savvy Strings

New to the Academy is the Savvy Strings Seminar which will meet every Wednesday between June 15 and July 6. Students will be matched with other string players according to age and level and placed in small chamber ensembles that will be coached by Academy instructors. The seminar will conclude with a performance the evening of Thursday, July 7.


NEW!! Show Choir 1-2-3

This year the Academy welcomes its first ever show choir! The week-long camp (June 27-July 1) will include instruction in both voice and choreography that will culminate in a group performance at the end of the week.


Do, Re, for Me!

Returning this summer is the Do, Re, for Me! music camp (June 13-17) for 3-6 year olds (9:30-11:45 a.m.) and 6-12 year olds (1-3:15 p.m.) who wish to experience music, perhaps for the first time, in a creative and interactive format.


Jazz Improvisational Camp

This summer will mark the second year of the Improvisational Summer Camp (June 27-July 1) for all instrumentalists (at high school level proficiency) who love to play jazz and would like to improve their improvisational skills using scales, modes, and chords.


Piano Institute

Also returning this summer is the Northwestern Piano Institute (July 25-30) for those 12-18 year olds who wish to progress in piano. Students will be challenged, motivated, and encouraged in their piano studies.


To register or find out more information on the Academy of Music, click here

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DptMscHstEvtsDepartment of Music Hosted Events


For the fourth time, Northwestern College hosted the annual Roseville Jazz Blast, a day of jazz clinics and competition (sponsored by the city of Roseville and Roseville Center).  The evening performance included the NWC Jazz Ensemble, as well as the winning high school bands and soloists, and featured the JazzMN Orchestra, with guest artist Wayne Bergeron, LA studio musician and lead trumpet with Big Phat Band.

Master Classes during the 2010-2011 school year:

Daniel Paul Horn, Piano, Wheaton College

Burt Hara, Principal Clarinet, Minnesota Orchestra

Mary Dibbern, Voice, Minnesota Opera

Charles Lazarus, Trumpet, Minnesota Orchestra



Burt Hara, Principal Clarinet, Minnesota Orchestra




Charles Lazarus (center), Trumpet, Minnesota Orchestra




Piano Solo Festival: This annual festival brought 47 pianists (ages 10 - 18) and their families to campus for a day of piano competition during spring break, culminating in an Honors concert in Nazareth Chapel, awards and reception in the Blue Room. 





(March 3-11) John S. Herlihy led the NWC Symphonic Band and Jazz Ensemble on tour throughout Wyoming, Montana and North Dakota, performing concerts at Casper College (Casper, Wyoming), Manhattan Christian School (Manhattan, Montana), Billings West High School (hosted by Sarah Zerbe Hanson, NWC '08 alumna, in Billings, Montana), and Bismarck Baptist Church (Bismarck, North Dakota). In addition, several chamber ensembles participated in Sunday worship at Bethel Christian Reform Church in Manhattan, Montana. Of special note was an evening concert at the Absarokee Evangelical Church in Absarokee, a small church tucked away in the hills of Montana, where -- after having been on the road for six days -- the ensemble was feeling the strains and stresses of tour. There was a palpable sense of spiritual attack that evening, so several students prayed in earnest asking God to show his presence in a mighty way. He did just that and it became a night that will forever be etched in the memories of the performers and those who attended.

(April 2-4) Dr. Mary Kay Geston led the NWC Women's Chorale on a tour to South Dakota and Iowa on which the choir performed in concert with a women's ensemble from Sioux Falls' Washington High School directed by NWC alumna Emily Cromwell Danger ('06). They also sang at two worship services at Faith Baptist Fellowship Church, Sioux Falls, and sang for the entire student body of Western Christian High School in Hull, Iowa. During their Homecoming concert, alumna Andrea Needham ('10) performed as guest flutist with the choir.

(April 1-3) Timothy Sawyer conducted the Northwestern College Choir on tour to Duluth. En route, the choir sang for about 500 high school singers at Mounds View, Irondale and Duluth East High Schools, followed by concerts in Duluth. The NWC Choir also took part in a recording session at University of Minnesota-Duluth's Weber Music Hall.

(April 8-10) Timothy Sawyer led the NWC Varsity Men's Chorus on tour to the Rochester area. En route, the choir sang for and ate lunch with the inmates of the Red Wing Correctional Facility. In Rochester, they performed at Schaeffer Academy, St. Mary's Chapel (in St. Mary's Hospital), and in a joint concert with choirs from nearby Stewartville High School. Their conductor, Nick Johnson, said of the combined concert, "that was one of the most meaningful choral experiences of my life." The next morning the Men's Chorus sang at Grace Ev. Free Church, where NWC alumnus Andrew Langseth ('07) leads the youth and music ministry, as they baptized 10 youths from the community -- including some students from Stewartville High School, which moved their director, Nick, to tears. Langseth wrote in a letter to Sawyer: "... Your time spent investing in Nick has ignited a passion in him to serve these students in a completely different way! Never for a second underestimate the way God will use your 'little Minnesota tour' to do amazing kingdom work."



Orchestra Tour 2011 to France and Switzerland

Postcards from America: A Musical Journey Through the Ages




  Orchestra Tour 2011 at the Eiffel Tower









 Orchestra performance at the Church of St. Denis Nuits, St. Georges, France





(May 16-26) David Kozamchak, conductor, and Julie Johnson, tour director, led the Northwestern College Orchestra, joined by Leonard Danek, organist, on an international tour to France and Switzerland. On the way to France they enjoyed a layover in London and toured many historic sites. While in France, they toured the city of Toulousse and the beautiful walled cities and castles of Carcassonne and Avignon, along with a drive through the French countryside to Lavaur for their first European concert at Halle aux Grains. In Switzerland, they toured Geneva and the castle Chateau de Chillon, viewing the spectacular Swiss Alps. They had the amazing opportunity to perform in the Sunday services of Cathedral of Saint-Pierre in Geneva, the protestant cathedral where John Calvin preached, and they also toured the Museum of the Reformation followed by a concert at Calvin College where they received standing ovations. The audiences especially appreciated NWC '10 alumnus Jordan Cox's original composition "Andante and Capriccio for English Horn and Orchestra," featuring Colton Cox on English horn. At the concert at the Church of St. Denis in Nuits St. Georges, Leonard Danek played works by Alexandre Guilmant on the very organ for which the Guilmant pieces were written. Northwestern College President Alan Cureton joined the group for three concerts, including the final concert at the Lutheran Church of St. Marcel in Paris, France. The group enjoyed many of the sites of Paris for their final days of the tour, including the Notre Dame Cathedral, the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre Museum. 




Dr. Leonard Danek, organist, performed his original composition, Fantasy on "By the Sea of Crystal," on the Organ Alumni Showcase at the University of Minnesota this spring. The organ was the 109-rank Aeolian-Skinner organ at Northrop Auditorium.  He also performed on the Fisk tracker organ at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church during the Northwestern College Orchestra Bon Voyage Concert.  This concert included a Handel organ concerto and three rarely performed pieces by Guilmant for organ and orchestra, as well as orchestral music by composers Korngold, Respighi, Copland and Sousa. Danek and the Orchestra toured France and Switzerland in May (see full report in this issue under "Tours").

This spring Dr. Mary Kay Geston was the featured conductor of the North Dakota All-State Women's Choir, the Mississippi 8 Conference Honor Choir at Cambridge-Isanti High School, and the BOCH Honors Festival Women's Honor Choir at University of Nebraska, Omaha. She presented "Making a New Case: Why We Must Change How We Talk About Music" at the Minnesota Music Educators Association In-Service Clinic and at the NWC Faculty Scholarship Symposium. Additionally, Dr. Geston adjudicated at the Minnesota Association of Christian Schools' Music and Fine Arts Festival and led a clinic for the Robbinsdale Armstrong High School Women's Choir in Nazareth Chapel.

Dr. Mary Kay Geston, Dr. Jeremy Kolwinska, and Rodney Loeffler adjudicated at the Minnesota Association of Christian Schools' Music and Fine Arts Festival at Fourth Baptist Christian School, Plymouth, Minnesota, April 8, 2011.

Dr. Cheryl Kelley, bassoon, performed in the following:  Strauss: Suite in Bb for Winds with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (January 2011); Adams: Chamber Symphony and Hindemith: Kammermusik #5 with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra (March 2011); Minnesota Opera: reading sessions on Kevin Puts: Silent Night, an opera premiere (for fall 2011); and Minnesota Orchestra: Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring (May 2011).

David Kozamchak was guest conductor and clinician for the Northwest Suburban Conference High School Music Festival held at Maple Grove High School on February 7, 2011.  Kozamchak worked with nine area high schools and conducted the All-Conference Orchestra for this event.  On May 11, David Kozamchak served as the guest clinician for the Robbinsdale Middle School Honor Orchestra.  The clinic session was held on the Northwestern College campus and, in the words of Lucas Shogren, Robbinsdale High School Orchestra Director, the students "had a blast and really got a lot out of the masterclass."

Dr. Phil Norris was selected to be included in an upcoming book entitled Trumpet Greats, a biographical dictionary of about 2,000 important trumpeters since the Baroque era. The book is being written by David Hickman and edited by Ed Tarr and Michel Laplace. In addition, as prelude to the International Trumpet Guild conference in Minneapolis May 24-28, Norris was part of a large trumpet choir playing at the Minnesota Twins game on Monday, May 23. Norris also performed with the conference's Festival of Trumpets which included portions of his arrangement of Moussorgsky's Pictures at an Exhibition. 

Dr. Barbara Rogers composed "My song is love unknown" for soprano, trumpet, and organ in November 2010, and it was premiered by Cathy Larsen, Phil Norris, and Leonard Danek at the Faculty Artist Recital in January 2011.  Manna!, a children's biblical musical composed by Barbara Rogers in June 2000, was premiered by the Academy Youth Choir directed by Marlene Lee (April 2011). 

This spring, Timothy Sawyer conducted 400 high school singers from 10 Christian schools in the ACSI Northern California Honor Choir in Sacramento (March 2011); he led three rehearsals and a performance of Johannes Brahms' A German Requiem for the Minnesota Chorale's InChoir series, an innovative program in which outside guests join the Chorale in an engaging and interactive rehearsal/performance choral masterwork experience. Finally, on a two-week teaching trip (May 16-31) to L'viv, Luts'k, Zaporizhya and Kiev, Ukraine under the auspices of Music in World Cultures, Inc., Sawyer taught conducting, choral approaches to tone and blend, group vocal master class and vocal health.

Matthew Wilson has been occasional guest Principal Horn with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra this past season.      




New Billy Graham Community Life Center.







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