Music program serves community, region and state

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Greetings from Valley City State University!A few weeks ago, I commented on the beauty of winter. As our students enjoy spring break this week, with many venturing to warmer climates for a few days, I must admit that spring fever is rampant, but its arrival here in Valley City seems to be in the far-distant future! As we prepare to make our VCSU Senate Appropriations presentation on March 18, one of the topics that remains top of mind on campus is the continued work and effort to gain approval for the new Communication and Fine Arts Building. You may know that Senate Bill 2297, a bonding bill that passed the Senate unanimously a few weeks ago, includes $32.275 million dollars of bonding authority for this project. We strongly support this effort, and I’d like to devote this column to detailing some of the outstanding success stories and community collaboration with music at VCSU. The VCSU Department of Music has been an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1997. This content-area accreditation affirms our quality and continued dedication to meeting a variety of standards including, but not limited to, the size and scope of the department, finances, governance and administration, faculty and staff, facilities, equipment, technology, library and learning resources, recruitment, admission, retention, published materials and community involvement. In regard to community involvement, the music department hosts an impressive number of annual events that impact students and patrons from the community, state and region. In fact, more than 2,300 students from all corners of North Dakota will participate in music events on our campus this year! Those events, and corresponding participant numbers, include:

  • James Ployhar Honor Band Festival – 100 students
  • Solo Song Symposium Invitational – 12 students
  • Barnes County Music Festival (band/choir) – 150 students
  • NDHSAA Eastern Dakota Conference Instrumental Solo Contest – 400-plus students
  • NDHSAA Dakota Federated Music Club Festival – 10 students
  • NDHSAA Region II Vocal Solo Contest – 200 students
  • NDHSAA Region V Vocal/Instrumental Solo Contest – 200 students
  • NDHSAA Region II Instrumental Solo Contest – 150 students
  • NDHSAA State Class A Vocal/String Solo Contest – 1,100 students
Additionally, the VCSU Community School of the Arts serves as an outreach arm of the department, providing applied, private and group instruction to an average of 50 students annually. The breadth and depth of this program illustrates the very important and critical role VCSU plays in the advancement of music in our schools.These examples demonstrate our continued efforts to positively impact music education in our local community, region and state. Our own students and those who visit our campus to participate in these outstanding events warrant a safe and modern space for our university music program, and I hope you will join me in affirming the importance of the new Communication and Fine Arts Building on the VCSU campus.Go Vikings!