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Fall 2011

Dear friends of the music department,Jeremy Kolwinska

Things are back in full swing here at the NWC Department of Music. Nazareth Hall and the Totino Fine Arts Center are once again filled with the sounds of students' animated conversations, laughter, and music-making. Over the summer, the new Billy Graham Community Life Commons opened its doors. The "CLC" beautifully compliments the architecture of the historic buildings on our campus, and has already begun to serve as the new center and heart of our campus. Students can still play ultimate Frisbee on the new campus quad (albeit on a smaller field), but it is truly a beautiful space--complete with sculpture and a new fountain. Department of Music faculty and ensembles will participate in the Grand Opening Celebration for the new building during Homecoming on Friday, October 7, 2011 at 4:45 p.m. in Maranatha Hall. Everyone is invited!


I value context. It is one of the reasons I enjoy reading history. I'm currently in the middle of two (very thick) history books, and my family and I have been visiting many of the historical sites and museums in the area. Working at a place like NWC, I have constant reminders of my place in history. Our beautiful and stately old buildings are constant reminders of not just the artisans who designed and created them, but also of centuries of Christian worship, building, and education that has taken place in places like Northwestern. The names of the buildings themselves also serve as a reminder of those who have gone before me. The CLC is named after Billy Graham, our second president. Other buildings also bear the names of former presidents Riley Hall (William Bell Riley); Ericksen Center (Donald Ericksen); and the Berntsen Library (William Berntsen).


Last spring, the College Choir performed at First Baptist Church in Minneapolis--the birthplace of Northwestern Bible and Missionary School (the very first name of our institution). I recognized the choir's warm-up room and the church sanctuary from photos I have come across while digging through the archives. It was humbling to be in attendance and realize that God has used decisions made in that building almost 110 years ago to bring Northwestern College to where it is today.


In 1930 the College of Liberal Arts at Northwestern Schools (as it was called then) awarded its first two-year degrees in music. In 1946, Dr. William Berntsen was hired to serve as Chair of the Music Department, and just two years later, the school awarded its first bachelors degrees in music. Many of you know the rest of the story--after Dr. Berntsen was named president, the school had to close, but through his persistent efforts, it re-opened on its current campus after a few years. My own history intersects with NWC sometime in the late 1980's, as my high school sweetheart (now my wife!) and I had one of our first dates at a production of Oklahoma! right here in Maranatha Hall.


I am ever-aware that I stand on the shoulders of those faculty, staff, donors, administrators, and students who have walked these halls (or the halls of the original campus) before me. If you are one of those people, thank you very much for your faithfulness. To all of you Accent readers, I want to invite you to come to campus this year to see our buildings (new and old), to attend one of our many concerts, and to see and celebrate what God has done and continues to do here at Northwestern College.


Jeremy Kolwinska, D.M.A.
Chair, Department of Music


Faculty News
Alumni News
Event Highlights for Fall


New Music major: Music Ministry-- check out the webpage and video here!





Orchestra CD







The Northwestern College Orchestra, conducted by David Kozamchak,  released Orchestral Showcase--a collection of live performances from NWC Orchestra concerts from 2006 to 2010.

Sacred Bridges CD

The Northwestern College Choir, under the direction of Timothy Sawyer, has released a new CD, Sacred Bridges--a collection of live performances from their Baltic Tour in May 2010.

Also available: Symphonic Band CD Gems of the Heart from 2009 as well as past College Choir CDs-- Transformation (2008), Light of the World (2004) and Reformation (1999).

CDs are $15 each (or 2/$28) and can be purchased from the Department of Music office. If you would like a CD mailed to you, shipping is $3. Send your check to: Karen Leivian, Department of Music, Northwestern College, F2219, 3003 Snelling Avenue North, St. Paul, MN 55113.


2011 FALL TOUR: 



Piano Tour - 

South Dakota, October 16-18

The Department of Music announces the 2011 Piano Tour to South Dakota, this October 16-18. Touring with faculty members Dr. Richard Lange and Dr. Barbara Rogers are students Emily Baltzer, Julia Clearman, David Danielson II, Kathleen Daugherty, Brad Halbersma, Seoyon Susanna Lim, Jesse Moan, Bethany Pertzsch, Brienna Rossiter, Emilee Selin, and special guest Grace Peterson (graduate '11) in her hometown of Aberdeen. Performances include an inspiring variety of styles and color, from Bach to Liszt, Brahms to Debussy, Mozart to Mendelssohn, and even a little Cole Porter!



October 16

Sunday, 7 p.m.

Richland Wesleyan Church

Mina, South Dakota



October 17

Monday, 8:45 a.m.

Aberdeen Christian School 

Aberdeen, South Dakota


October 17

Monday, 7 p.m. 

Living Hope Alliance Church

Huron, South Dakota



October 20

Thursday, 12:45 p.m.

Homecoming concert at NWC











Current Students

Shawn Fletcher (Vocal Performance major, student of Doreen Hutchings) won first place in the Minnesota State Fair Amateur Talent Contest Open Division Semi-finals (after having an emergency appendectomy at 1 a.m. that same day!). Shawn proceeded to the final competition in the Grandstand on September 4 performing "Run Away with Me" from a new musical, The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown. Although he did not end up winning the competition, he performed wonderfully and had a good showing of fans cheering for him! Northwestern College received a second mention in the Grandstand finals with pianist Amanda Godin playing Pirates of the Caribbean. Amanda is a PSEO student at NWC as well as a homeschooled senior who has attended NWC's Piano Institute and Piano Festival. We hope Amanda is Northwestern bound!


Seoyon Susanna Lim (Piano Performance Major, student of Barbara Rogers) took 3rd place in the Minnesota Music Teachers Association College Young Artist Contest and performed at the MMTA convention this summer. She also attended the Lamont Summer Academy at the University of Denver, where she served as a camp counselor, mentoring camp students and coaching them in rehearsals. She also served as the accompanist for the Academy Choir.


Benjamin Osterhouse (Cello Performance/Composition Major, student of Sachiya Isomura) attended the Masterworks Festival in Winona Lake, Indiana this summer.



Academy of Music 

The Academy of Music continues its fine tradition of offering lessons and camps to the public each summer, including a new camp this year:  Show Choir 1-2-3! This exciting camp was taught by NWC faculty instructor, Doreen Hutchings, and assisted by alumni Evan Jones and Natalie Cromwell.  The week ended with a group performance in the Blue Room, and in Ms. Hutchings words "...We had a fabulous week.  The students had such wonderful attitudes, talents, discipline, creativity, enthusiasm and Christ-like spirits."  Due to the success of this camp, next summer it will be offered two different weeks.


Returning summer camps were Do, Re for Me!, Jazz Improvisational Camp, and, the Piano Institute. The Institute, coordinated by Dr. Richard Lange, was held July 25-30 and was open to students ages 11-18.  This year 35 students attended the Institute with many students returning from previous years of attending the Institute.  Next year's dates are July 23-28, 2012.  For more information, please contact Dr. Richard Lange at 651-631-5242 or   


New Academy of Music ensembles and classes for this fall include:  Resounding Praise Teen Choir (for grades 9-12) directed by Doreen Hutchings, Percussion Ensemble directed by Mary Lee, Rock 'n Blues (class instruction for rock and roll instruments) by Wes Ruelle and Jacob Staron, and Kinderstudio of Music (early childhood Musikgarten classes) by Marlene Lee and Michelle Thompson.  You can learn more and register at




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Fall Music Events



22      12:45 p.m.         Performing Careers Panel Discussion (NC)

                                        Guests:  Bob Adney, Mary Jo Gothmann, Maria Jette

29      12:45 p.m.         Piano Master Class:  Luke Norell (NC)




 3                                 Christmas at Northwestern tickets go on sale * 

                                           Concert tickets:  Adults $14; Alumni $12;

                                             Students/Seniors $9; NWC Students $5

 3                                 Performance application deadline for

           Roger Frisch Violin Master Class 

 7         4:45 p.m.         Billy Graham Community Life Commons Grand Opening (MH)

16-18                           Piano Tour (OC)

20      12:45 p.m.         Piano Tour Homecoming Recital (NC) 

22        2:00 p.m.         Roger Frisch Violin Master Class (Totino, TBD)



 8         7:30 p.m.         Varsity Men's Chorus, Women's Chorale,

                                         Jazz Ensemble Concert (MH) 

11        7:30 p.m.         Symphonic Band and Chamber Winds Concert (MH)

13        3:00 p.m.         College Choir Concert with Two Rivers Chorale

(OC, Benson Great Hall, Bethel University)

17        1:00 p.m.         Orchestra Children's Matinee, with Opera Workshop (MH)**

                                        Matinee for area public school and private school groups

and homeschool families

     Free admission; reserved seating only.**               

18        7:00 p.m.         Orchestra Children's Concert, with Opera Workshop (MH)**
                                        Children's activities presented by the Academy of Music.

     Free admission; reserved seating only.**

21        7:00 p.m.         Chamber Ensembles Recital   





2         7:30 p.m.          Christmas at Northwestern (MH)*

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

4         3:00 p.m.          Christmas at Northwestern (MH)*

4         5:30 p.m.          Christmas Dinner (BR)*






Junior/Senior Recitals




27        12:45 p.m.        Jr. Recital:  piano (NC)




 3         12:45 p.m.        Sr. Recital:  trombone (NC)





MH=Maranatha Hall, NC=Nazareth Chapel, BR=Blue Room, OC=Off Campus location


All events free (except as noted *) and open to the public.

*Tickets available in Ticket Office at 651-631-5151 or 

 **Reserve free tickets at   






New music major for 2011-12:

Bachelor of Science in Music (Music Ministry)

Northwestern is offering a new NASM-accredited degree in music ministry, beginning fall 2011. The Bachelor of Science in Music (Music Ministry) will equip students to serve in church music ministry and worship leadership roles. The degree is built on the essentials of musical excellence, biblical theology and practical training. Degree-specific courses will be taught by adjunct faculty who are worship leaders in the vibrant Twin Cities worship scene, and the program of study culminates with an 80-hour internship at a local church.

Check out the promo video!




Faculty News 


On June 5, 2011, at Wayzata Community Church Leonard Danek performed one of his own organ works, Festival Prelude, on the gala 100th Anniversary Concert of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.  Also on the program were works by David Evan Thomas, Stephen Paulus, and others. 


From May 18-31, Director of Choral Activities Timothy Sawyer taught choral conducting and participated in worship and music seminars in Luts'k and Zaporizhzhya, Ukraine under the auspices of Music in World Cultures. He was also a guest of the combined music faculty of the Zaporizhzhya State Music Conservatory, where he gave a presentation contrasting Ukrainian and American choral music and vocal styles. Mr. Sawyer also Celebrating 25 years affiliated with the Oregon Bach Festival, June 19-July 12, Mr. Sawyer continued in his role as associate director of the OBF's conducting master class, teaching and coaching conductors from throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Australia, Taiwan and Russia.


On June 5, Richard Lange performed Chopin's Barcarolle, op. 60 for the MMTA convention members concert. Also, in partnership with the Academy of Music, Dr. Lange hosted the 18th annual summer NWC Piano Institute for the week of July 25 - 30 in the Totino Fine Arts Center.  



Catherine McCord Larsen taught and performed at Luther College once again for four weeks this summer as a part of Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival. She performed in a faculty program of opera and musical theater scenes, coached a women's group, and participated in a Bach Cantata that was part of Sunday worship, similar to that which was done in Bach's time.



Barbara Rogers has embarked on three new professional responsibilities: Chair of the Composers Group of the Minneapolis Music Teachers Forum, Advisor to the Judge Education and Certification Committee of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association, and Adjudicator for the Music Teachers National Association Composition Contest.   




Alumni News 


Nathan Bird ('06) recently completed a six-month stint with the Minnesota-based professional male vocal ensemble Cantus. Additionally, this past May through August, he was engaged as an ensemble actor in a critically-acclaimed production of H.M.S. Pinafore at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. He also recently released a new recording with The Massif Trio--an ensemble featuring Nate and two guitarists who were classmates of his at the Lamont School of Music in Denver.  Specializing in the German art song form known as Lieder, the trio's debut album features innovative arrangements of works by Schumann, Schubert and Strauss--including Schumann's famed Dichterliebe--for two guitars and voice.  You can read more in the Denver University blog.


Nathan Bird

Nathan Bird in his performance at the Guthrie Theater (This photo was provided by the Guthrie Theater with credit to Micahl Daniel.)


Luke Norell ('07) is a doctoral student in piano performance at Indiana University, where he is a student of acclaimed pianist André Watts. In July, Luke was a featured guest artist and faculty member at the Young Artist World Piano Festival in St. Paul, where he also appeared in a chamber music concert with the Artaria String Quartet. Following that festival, Luke coached and mentored young pianists at the annual Northwestern Piano Institute 2011 held on the NWC campus. Luke will conduct a Piano Master Class at NWC on September 29 at 12:45 p.m. The masterclass is free and open to the public.


NWC alumni Shaylee Carlson ('10), Christy Anderson ('08), and Kurt Bender (music minor, '11) have been cast in an upcoming production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with The Chameleon Theatre Circle at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center running in December (tickets available through Ticketmaster). Kurt Bender will also be playing Rolf in The Sound of Music with the Eat Street Players, performing in the Howard Conn Theatre in Minneapolis (running through September 25).


Nikkia Hall ('09), was accepted in to the graduate school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee this fall to begin a Master of Music in Violin Pedagogy. She is studying pedagogy with Darcy Drexler, executive director of the String Academy of Wisconsin (pre-college string academy), and studying violin with Dr. Bernard Zinck, a French violinist and soloist. She will also be working for the String Academy and has an assistantship with the Music Department as the Program Production Assistant.


Mikki Johnston ('10) was accepted into the graduate school at the University of Minnesota to begin work on a Master of Music in Violin Performance. She is studying with Sally O'Reilly. She will also be participating in the University Symphony Orchestra and a string quartet. This semester her quartet is honored to be among the few coached by Käthe Jarka, former cellist of the Shanghai Quartet and the Grammy award-winning Parker Quartet.


Congratulations to several NWC music education grads who have gotten new teaching jobs. They include: Karl Meyers, '09 (Benjamin Franklin Charter School, Queen Creek, AZ); Evan Jones, '08 (Clearwater Middle School, Waconia, MN); Natalie Cromwell, '10 (Southwest Christian School, Chaska, MN); Laura (Miller) Buller, '10 (Heritage Christian Academy, Maple Grove, MN); Katherine (Deming) Postel, '99 (Anoka-Ramsey elementary schools).


Attention Alumni!  What are you up to? Please let us know. Email us at to give us an update.  


Event Highlights for Fall 






Three professional performers in the Twin Cities area will discuss performing careers in music on Thursday, September 22, 12:45 p.m., in Nazareth Chapel.

  • Maria Jette, soprano, has been a soloist with symphonies and orchestras across America, as well as Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. 
  • Mary Jo Gothmann, piano, has worked as a chamber musician, soloist, opera coach and organist in the Twin Cities, New York and New Mexico. 
  • Bob Adney, percussion (NWC adjunct faculty and MacPhail Center for Music), has worked as a music educator, percussionist and timpanist with many major orchestras and groups in the Twin Cities area.


PIANO MASTER CLASS: Alumnus Luke Norell

On Thursday, Sept. 29, 12:45-3:00 p.m. in Nazareth Chapel, alumnus Luke Norell (NWC '07) will perform as well as instruct Northwestern College piano students Emily Baltzer, Julia Clearman, Seoyon Susanna Lim, Bethany Pertzsch and Katie Daugherty. This master class is open to the public.




Roger Frisch, Associate Concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra and faculty/artist-in-residence at Northwestern College, will be presenting a Violin Master Class on Saturday, October 22, at 2 pm, in the Totino Fine Arts Center of NWC. Open to the public, and junior high/high school string players are encouraged to attend.


Master class performers must be high school violinists and will be chosen based on an audition recording and application. Interested students should download an application and recording instructions at Applications and recordings must be received by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, October 3, 2011.   







Homecoming 2011 will be an amazing time of celebrating God's faithfulness and the grand opening of the new Billy Graham Community Life Commons facility.  The Department of Music performing ensembles will take part in the Grand Opening Celebration on Friday, October 7, at 4:45 p.m. in Maranatha Hall.   This concert replaces our usual Showcase concert (Showcase will be back in 2012), and we hope you will attend this Grand Opening Celebration, as well as other homecoming events on October 7 & 8.  For more information, please visit




will perform "Fables and Fairy Tales," with family-friendly scenes from Mozart's The Magic Flute and Humberdinck's Hansel and Gretel, on Friday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. in Maranatha Hall on the NWC campus.  There will also be Children's Activities before and after this concert.  This concert is open to the public and free, and reservations are required for both the concert and children's activites; register at (registration begins October 1). You can find the schedule of activities on the Academy of Music website when you register for tickets.


This year a one-hour MATINEE (without pre- and post-concert activities) will be offered on Thursday, November 17 at 1 p.m. for public and private elementary and middle school student groups, as well as homeschool families.  Schools and groups must register at for seat reservations and bus parking. Admission is free.  (Registration begins September 15).  



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

Northwestern College