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Music News 2019-2020

Dr. Scott Horey Presents Percussion Recital  (11/5/2019)

picture from recital by Scotty HoreyDr. Scott Horey, the new percussion instructor at SMSU presented a recital of original works and other repertoire on November 4th in the SMSU Fine Arts Theatre.  Dr. Horey has performed all over the world, most recently in a series of clinics and performances in Columbia and Brazil.  The program included many pieces performed on that tour.  The evening's program included pieces for the marimba as well as music fo marimba with recorded tracks and for drumset with recorded tracks.  Many of the works were written or co-written by Dr. Horey, and often performed by his own band.  



SMSU Music Program Holds Annual SingFest  (10/30/2019)

Singfest group photoOn Monday, October 14th, the SMSU Music Program hosted nearly 200 area high school students for the 7th annual SingFest.  SingFest was founded in the fall of 2013 as a way of giving area students the opportunity to sing in a large-format choir.  Over the course of the day, singers participate in sectional and full rehearsals, are treated to a short performance by the SMSU Chorale and conclude the day with a recording session.  Current SMSU music students also participate in the day’s festivities.  SMSU student section leaders share rehearsal responsibilities by leading sectional rehearsals, and the members of the chorale sit-in with the high-school singers.  Massed rehearsals are held under the baton of SMSU’s Director of Choral Activities, Dr. Stephen Kingsbury. 

According to Dr. Kingsbury, “SingFest is a great opportunity for area high school singers to come to our campus in order to experience a day devoted to choral singing.  Over the course of the day, we work on four pieces; two for mixed choir, one for men’s choir and one for women’s choir.  The format of the event allows singers the opportunity to participate in a choir that is much larger than what many of them experience in their high school groups.  Plus, they have the opportunity to interact with our amazing music students from SMSU.  It truly is a wonderful experience for everyone.”

This year’s participating schools included Westbrook-Walnut Grove, Russell-Tyler-Ruthton and Red Rock Central.  Plans are already underway for next year’s event.  Schools interested in participating can reach out to Dr. Kingsbury directly at


SMSU Director of Bands presents sessions in New Hampshire  (10/21/2019)

Dr. John Ginocchio traveled to Manchester, NH in October to present clinic sessions for the Fall Professional Development Conference of the New Hampshire Music Educators Association.  Dr. Ginocchio was one of a handful of music educators from around the country to be selected to speak with attendees.  He presented a morning session entitled "Unhelpful Conducting Habits Learned from 'Helping' Students."  The session speaks not only to troublesome conducting gestures and movement on the podium, but also to the root cause for why these habits develop in classroom settings.  His second clinic, "Sound Use of Space: Ensemble Seating", discussed variables that band directors can consider in choosing how to best seat ensembles for the music being performed, for the abilities of the band, and for the acoustics of the venue.

Dr. Ginocchio regularly presents sessions at state, national, and international conferences.  He will present the session on conducting habits again on January 9th for the New Mexico Music Educators Association All-State Conference in Albuquerque, NM.  Later, in February, he will present a new session on the music of the Spanish Festival of Moors and Christians for the Midwinter Inservice of the Minnesota Music Educators Association.


SMSU Chorale Invited to Perform at the ACDA-MN Fall Convention  (9/10/2019)

picture of the 2018 ChoraleThe SMSU Chorale has been invited to perform at the Fall Convention of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota.  The performance will take place on Friday, November 15th at St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi. 

According to Dr. Stephen Kingsbury, SMSU’s Director of Choral Activities, this is a great honor for the SMSU Choral Program in particular and the Music Program in general.  “Having been asked to perform is a wonderful recognition of the excellence of our program.  I believe that this is the first time in the history of the institution that one of our choirs has been invited to perform.  We will be singing for choral musicians from all across the state.  Attendees at the conference are professional conductors and choral music educators working at all levels of instruction, from church musicians to public school teachers, from college professors to community choir conductors.  Next to our performance at Carnegie Hall a couple of years ago, this is the highest profile performance that we’ve ever given.  Certainly the highest profile performance that we’ve given in our home state.  We’re really looking forward to showing everyone exactly what the SMSU Chorale is capable of.”

The American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota is the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  Founded in 1959, ACDA is a non-profit organization whose active membership is composed of choral musicians from schools, colleges and universities, community, industrial organizations, churches, and professional groups.  The mission of ACDA-MN is to inspire and support the community of choral musicians in Minnesota.

The SMSU Chorale is SMSU’s elite, mixed choral ensemble. The ensemble specializes in the performance of a wide range of sacred and secular choral literature of all historical periods, voicings, and nationalities.  Repertoire includes unaccompanied works for a cappella choir as well as works performed with professional instrumental ensembles.  The SMSU Chorale is open to all students, regardless of major, by audition.


SMSU Music Program to Begin Partnership with ACDA-MN  (9/10/2019)

The SMSU Music Program is thrilled to announce that they will be partnering with the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota in order to offer graduate credit for participants attending the ACDA-MN Summer Dialogue and the ACDA-MN Fall Convention. 

“I was approached by the leadership of ACDA-MN this summer at the annual Summer Dialogue event,” says Dr. Stephen Kingsbury, SMSU’s Director of Choral Activities.  “The institution that had been offering graduate credit for the conferences was no longer interested in doing so, and they wanted to know if we would be willing to take over the role.  After some wonderful discussions with the University administration and the ACDA-MN leadership, it was decided that this was absolutely a partnership that SMSU wanted to pursue.  It’s a great opportunity to get our name and brand out across the state in another very visible manner.  Right now we’re working through the curricular process, but things should be ready to go and on the books so that we can start offering credit in the summer of 2020.”

The American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota is the Minnesota Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association.  Founded in 1959, ACDA is a non-profit organization whose active membership is composed of choral musicians from schools, colleges and universities, community, industrial organizations, churches, and professional groups.  The mission of ACDA-MN is to inspire and support the community of choral musicians in Minnesota.  Each year in support of that mission, ACDA-MN offers two conferences, a four day event called the Summer Dialogue which is held at the beginning of August, and a two-day fall conference held each year in November.  Going forward attendees will have the option of either just attending the conference, attending and receiving formal professional development hours, or attending and receiving SMSU graduate credit.


MN Orchestra Timpanist Visits SMSU Music Program  (9/5/2019)

Erich Rieppel conducting a timpani masterclass at SMSUOn September 3rd and 4th, the SMSU Music Program hosted a special guest.  Mr. Erich Rieppel, Principal Timpanist with the Minnesota Orchestra, was on campus to speak with students and the community.  On September 3rd, Mr. Rieppel spoke at the opening reception for the 50th season of the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra.  On this occasion, he spoke of his career journey, which started with occasional performances with the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra, through undergraduate and masters work at Indiana University, a position with the New World Symphony in Miami, Florida, and now back in Minnesota with the premier orchestra in the region.  Then on September 4th he gave a masterclass for percussion students at SMSU and also spoke with music majors about preparation and training as a professional musician.

Erich Rieppel is a 2010 graduate of Marshall High School.  In addition to performing with various bands at the high school, Erich also completed music theory coursework at SMSU through PSEO with Dr. John Ginocchio and performed as part of the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra.  Erich is the son of SMSU Professor of Music, Dr. Daniel Rieppel.


Music Alumnus Featured in Composition Contest     (9/4/2019)

Daniel Christenson, a 2018 graduate of the SMSU Music Program, will have a new composition performed at the fall conference for the Texas chapter of the National Association of Composers/USA (NACUSA).  Over the summer, Mr. Christenson submitted one of his works, "The Happiest Day, The Happiest Hour", for the organizations Composition Contest, and it was selected for performance. 

The work is a setting a of poem by Edgar Allan Poe for solo soprano voice and guitar accompaniment.  Christenson will perform the guitar part with soprano, Dr. Blythe D. Cates.  The performance will take place on September 27, 2019 on the campus of  the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, Texas.

Daniel Christenson is currently a Masters student in Composition at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.  He graduated from SMSU in May of 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree with emphases in Theory/Composition, Instrumental Performance (trombone), and Management.


SMSU Music Program Welcomes Two New Instructors     (8/14/2019)

The Music Program is proud to announce the addition of two new adjunct instructors to the faculty.  

picture of Ms. Riley CardonaDramatic-coloratura soprano, Riley Cardona, joins the music faculty teaching applied voice lessons.  Ms. Cardona is a native of South Dakota, currently living in Minneapolis.  She holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from South Dakota State University and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University.  Professionally, she has performed leading roles with the Sarasota Opera, the Florida Grand Opera, and the Arbor Opera Theatre.  She has also performed as a soloist with many musical organizations around the Twin Cities area.  Ms. Cardona’s singing awards include the Grand Prize in the Franco-American Vocal Academy Grand Concours de Chant, the Winston Scholarship from the National Society of Arts and Letters, the Encouragement Award from the Metropolitan Opera National Council Regional Auditions and second prize in the Minneapolis Song Slam Festival. She was also a finalist in the 2015 Houston Grand Opera Studio auditions.


picture of Dr. Scott HoreyDr. Scott Horey also joins the music faculty as the adjunct instructor of percussion.  Dr. Horey earned his Bachelor of Music in percussion performance from the University of Maine and is Master of Musical Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the University of Minnesota.  He is in demand as a solo artist and guest teacher worldwide. Notable engagements as featured artist have included the Marimba2010 International Festival and Conference, the First Annual International Festival of Percussion Ensembles of Costa Rica, the Federal University of Uberlandia International Percussion Festival, the 13th International Percussion Festival Patagonia-Argentina, and the 10th International Percussion Festival of FOJI in Santiago de Chile.  In September he will also present guest artist clinics and recitals at festivals in Bogata, Columbia and in Manaus, Brazil.  Dr. Horey currently serves as the principal percussionist for the Mankato Symphony and has performed with many prestigious, internationally established performers and organizations including the Minnesota Orchestra, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Ordway Center for Performing Arts, Ohio Light Opera, Cirque de la Symphone on ice, Victor Mendoza, Bob Becker, James Dillon, Libby Larsen, Morton Lauridsen, William Bolcolm, and Michael Daugherty.  He is an endorsed artist for MAPEX drums, VIC FIRTH sticks, SABIAN cymbals, and MAJESTIC percussion.



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