Tag Archives: Music

It Runs in the Family: the Rissers at EMU

On April 29, Mark Risser graduated from Eastern Mennonite University. His cousin, Elisabeth Barthlow, 22, of Cleveland, Tenn., officially received her diploma in December, but walked across the stage with him this spring. Touching, but there’s more. The cousins are just two of nearly two dozen family members to attend EMU over the last half-century. ...More

Kenneth J. Nafziger

In trying to sum up Kenneth J. Nafziger’s 30 years as music professor at Eastern Mennonite University, it is hard to know where to start. Do we start at the bestselling hymnal for which he was music editor? His 15 years as director of an acclaimed Bach Festival? His dozens of appearances nationally, often internationally, ...More

Thousands throng to new music festival made possible by many folks with ties to EMU

From a headlining act to the bike-powered recycling effort, from a group of staff and volunteers to the tent distributing Menno Tea to hundreds of friends and alumni, EMU and its graduates helped make the second annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival a success. Close to 3,000 people attended each day of the festival, July ...More

Fostering community-wide music through Bach Festival, Children’s Choir, Prep Music Program

BACH FESTIVAL Music lovers flock to Harrisonburg each summer for the annual Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival. With a week of performances ranging from baroque to modern, amateur to award-winning, they aren’t disappointed. The flagship performances are held in EMU’s Lehman Auditorium, but in an effort to share the experience with the widest possible audience, concerts ...More

Moved by Music

Aaron Copland, 20th century American composer, shared this perspective regarding music: “The whole problem can be stated quite simply by asking, ‘Is there a meaning to music?’ My answer would be, ‘Yes.’ And ‘Can you state in so many words what the meaning is?’ My answer to that would be, ‘No.’” Many of my earliest ...More

Those Famous Mennonite Harmonies

Do They Have a Future? What makes the same hymn inspire one individual to heroism and lead another to boredom cannot be calculated. It has to do with the mysterious way in which song connects us to our past, our soul, our future, our Savior. And because God intended us to be different, our uniqueness ...More

The Doctor Is In

Katherine Goins Frewen ’01, DMA In West Hartford. Connecticut, Katherine Goins Frewen ’01 has taken her 10 years of post-graduate musical education and college-level teaching experience into a public school serving city-living teenagers. “Katie” earned a doctor of musical arts (music education) at the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s in music performance ...More

Finding Her Voice

In Selfless Fundraising MADELINE BENDER ’93 is the singer, the patron, the inspiration, for rallying members of the opera world to support the Global Family program of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). To those who follow opera, Madeline is known as leading lady Violetta in “La Traviata” with the Vancouver Opera. Or as Eurydice in the ...More

40 Years of Choraleers

ARNOLD MOSHIER ’60, one of the best-known and longest-serving choral directors in the US Mennonite world, started his adult life as a farmer. For nine years he milked cows in northern New York. But this farmer preferred producing music in church. As a teenager boarding at Eastern Mennonite High School, Moshier had studied voice and ...More

Suzuki to Electric Keys

Wanda Teague Alger ’81 When Wanda Alger lived in Harrisonburg in the 1980s, she was known for launching two very different music initiatives. In 1981, she founded the Shenandoah Valley Suzuki String program for children aged 3 to 18. Over the next seven years, her program grew six-fold, from 13 to 85 students. In 1985, ...More