MSU President’s Column For Traill County Tribune

Dr. Brian Van Horn

February 23, 2019

Music is an important element in the life of the university and the community

Music participation is seen as an important component in Mayville State’s strategic enrollment management plans. Providing opportunities for involvement is not only an important aspect of recruiting students for Mayville State, but also for retaining them. Music is a great way to get students involved and a wonderful way to enhance campus life for students, as well as for community members. In addition, MSU students have the option of pursuing a minor in music.

All students who participate in music at Mayville State receive scholarships. To help ensure that we may continue to offer these scholarships and grow the number of students who attend Mayville State and participate in band and/or choir, the MSU Foundation has established a booster club of music supporters called Music Makers. Businesses and individuals may become Music Makers with their annual gifts of $100 or more. In addition, several music endowments have been established by generous private donors. The Music Makers campaign will kick off soon. For more information, contact MSU Foundation Executive Director John Klocke at 701-788-4787 or

The MSU music department has already had a busy year and there is more to come. The MSU POPS Concert will be Sunday, March 3. It begins at 2 p.m. in the Classroom Building Auditorium. The concert band, jazz band, and concert choir will perform a variety of works that feature music from “The Greatest Showman” and the classic rock band Queen, in addition to a few traditional concert and jazz band pieces. The final MSU music department concert for 2018-19 will be Sunday, April 28, beginning at 2 p.m. in the MSU Classroom Building Auditorium. The concert band, jazz band, and concert choir will perform a wide variety of works that celebrate the power of music and the sense of community and collaboration is provides to all of us. The graduating or departing senior members of the ensembles will be recognized. Both concerts are open to the public and there is no admission charge.

Mark your calendar for April 1, when a concert featuring music by all female composers will take place at 7 p.m. in the Classroom Building Auditorium. Katie Holman Burton, a native of Mayville and MSU alumna, will be this year’s featured composer. The program will include music spanning three centuries with performances by Mayville State students; the Drama Queens, a local female musical theater group; Dr. Cody Hunter on bassoon; Miaoqian Lui on French horn; Greta Paschke on clarinet and piano; and Mayville-Portland community members. Freewill donations will be accepted at the door.

“Pianopalooza” will take the stage at the Classroom Building Auditorium on April 16 at 7 p.m. This concert will feature multiple pianos on stage with as many as eight persons playing at a time. Piano students of area teachers, MSU students, Greta Paschke, Betsy Mortenson, and others will perform. Lovers of piano music won’t want to miss this!

We are delighted that we’ll have the opportunity to host high school music contests at Mayville State this spring.  The large group contest will be held Monday, March 11. This event will feature performances from choirs, concert bands, and jazz bands from North Dakota Region 3 schools. The choirs will perform in the Classroom Building Auditorium and the instrumental ensembles will perform in the Lewy Lee Fieldhouse. The performances are open to the public. Performance schedules will be posted at the event.

The Region 3 North Dakota high school small group contest will be held at Mayville State Friday, April 12. This event will feature performances from vocal and instrumental soloists and small ensembles. Each performance category is adjudicated. Schedules will be posted at the event.

Two concerts in the MSU and Community Fine Arts Series for 2018-2019 remain. The St. Louis Brass will perform in the Classroom Building Auditorium on Monday, March 25, beginning at 7:30 p.m. This quintet is made up of the nation’s finest brass players who will perform a wide variety of works. The final concert of the series will be on Monday, April 8, when the Rolston String Quartet performs in the Classroom Building Auditorium beginning at 7:30 p.m. This award-winning quartet (two violins, viola, and cello) has performed throughout the world. Tickets for the Fine Arts Series concerts are $13 for adults, $5 for children. MSU students are admitted free of charge with college identification.

Music speaks a universal language, and provides a legacy that all can enjoy. The benefits of having music at Mayville State are multi-faceted. Thank you to Dr. Cody Hunter and Greta Paschke for the time and energy they have dedicated to making music a success story at Mayville State. We also extend our sincere gratitude to the many people who have supported and continue to support the music department through their monetary gifts, as well as their time and talents.