MSU President's column for Traill County Tribune

November 12, 2016

Midwest Dueling Pianos, Downtown Horns, and Santa will make appearances at Mayville State


I’m excited to announce that the MSU Foundation will be hosting an exciting event on Friday evening, February 3. Just in time to help chase away the winter blues and cabin fever, the Midwest Dueling Pianos program will be on campus! The event will be held in the MSU Campus Center Luckasen Room, and is being held as a fundraiser for the MSU Foundation annual fund. We are grateful to event sponsors, Kim and Rob Lauf and Jon and Betsy Ewen, for their generosity in making this event possible.

Midwest Dueling Pianos is sure to bring a level of fun to Mayville State that those who attend will never forget. This has quickly become one of the most sought-after dueling piano production companies in the country. You may have seen the widely popular dueling pianos concept performed when you’ve been out of the area, but now that level of excitement, hilarity, musicianship, and raw fun will be happening right here in Mayville! The interactive musical comedy experience will have you singing, shouting, dancing, and laughing.

The Midwest Dueling Pianos’ young, energetic, and exciting entertainers will perform an all-request-driven show with music ranging from the songs of today to as far back as your memories can take you. Audience members will provide the direction of the show to the performers by writing their favorite songs on request slips that they bring up to the two pianos, which will be front and center.

The multi-talented dueling pianos entertainers will then perform the requested songs, while urging the audience to participate. To further the crowd interaction, some audience members may be asked to volunteer to go onto the stage to perform a song, dance, and/or skit that will probably bring the house down. Don’t worry! If you’re not into audience participation, you’ll be perfectly comfortable just sitting back and enjoying the show.

More information about the appearance of Dueling Pianos at Mayville State University will be available soon. Tickets will go on sale Saturday, Dec. 10. Please stay tuned and watch our website at for updates. Mark your calendar February 3 and plan for an exciting evening that will include fabulous entertainment, a cash bar, and an opportunity to support the annual fund at Mayville State University.

Speaking of great entertainment, have you purchased your tickets for the Poinsettia Ball on Saturday, Dec. 10? The energetic Downtown Horns are coming back to Mayville State! The group has become well-known as the premiere wedding and party band in the Grand Forks area. They play selections from the rock, blues, and horn band genres, and have been influenced by such artists as Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Chicago, The Commodores, Tower of Power, Van Morrison, and Wilson Pickett Band. Band members include Dave Christianson, Jenny Loer, Michael Wittgraf, Thomas Anderson, Dave Berger, Mike Blackmum, Mike Blake, and Mayville State alumni Stacey Searle and Lynn Schroeder.

The Poinsettia Ball will begin with socializing and hors d’oeuvres at 6 p.m. on Dec. 10 in the Mayville State University Campus Center Luckasen Room. Dancing will begin at 7 p.m. and end at 11 p.m. Dress is semi-formal, and the event is for those 21 years of age and older.

New this time to the Poinsettia Ball is the Sparkling Christmas Tree Raffle! Those who attend the Ball will have an opportunity to play and win great prizes valued at $40 and more. These prizes have been donated by our generous alumni and friends. The grand prize in the raffle is a beautiful diamond pendant valued at $650, which has been donated by Riddle’s Jewelry of Grand Forks, N.D. In addition, Riddle’s has donated a ladies created blue and white sapphire stud earrings and pendant in silver set that will be given away as a door prize. Everyone who attends the ball will be entered into a drawing for a chance to win this beautiful set.

The MSU Foundation staff has another holiday event planned on Saturday, Dec. 10. There will be a holiday open house at the Edson and Margaret Larson Alumni and Leadership Center from 10 a.m. until 12 noon on that day. Bring the kids! Santa and Mrs. Claus will be there, making their lists and checking them twice. In addition there will be refreshments, as well as treats and make-and-take crafts for kids.

We are happy that we can provide these opportunities for entertainment and socializing for the members of our community and beyond. Please do plan to join us. For more information, feel free to contact the MSU Foundation at 701-788-4750 or