Bemidji State to host 22nd Annual DeKrey Scholarship Concert

BEMIDJI, Minn. – The 22nd Annual DeKrey Scholarship Concert will feature 11 Bemidji State University student vocalists in a competition beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 19, in an event celebrating the life of BSU alumna Ione DeKrey.

The concert, which is open to the public free of charge, will be held in the Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex with a reception to follow.

Competition for the DeKrey Memorial Vocal Music Scholarship is open to vocal music majors who have maintained high academic standards. Since its inception in 1986, the DeKrey Award has supported 43 young vocalists with nearly $25,000 in scholarships. The 2008 competition will award $1,000 scholarships to each of the top three finishers immediately following the contest, and will be the first DeKrey contest to award three scholarships; past contests have awarded scholarships to the top two finishers.

The 11 music students competing for the scholarships this year are: Danielle Stadick, a senior in music from Beulah, N.D.; Mathew Verbout, a senior in mathematics from Grygla, Minn.; Anna Smith, a freshman in music from Grand Forks, N.D.; Angela Hesse, a sophomore in music from Comfrey, Minn.; Laura Iverson, a sophomore in music from Eagan, Minn.; Eric Benson, a sophomore in music from Duluth, Minn.; Ashley Bremseth, a junior in music from Fergus Falls, Minn.; Jessica Fisher, a freshman in music from Bemidji, Minn.; Jake Kaehne, a senior in music from Bemidji, Minn.; Brittany Messer, a senior in music from Cedar, Minn.; and Chris Ramage, a senior in music from Rochester, Minn.

A wide variety of musical styles will be featured in the concert, including arias, arts songs and musical theater selections.

Also performing will be four past DeKrey Scholarship recipients, including 2007 winners Sara Wabrowetz of Duluth, Minn. and Vanessa Christian of Warroad, Minn., 2006 winner Katie Thies of East Bethel, Minn. and 2005 winner Karissa Korbel of Blackduck, Minn.

DeKrey, who graduated from Bemidji State in 1975 at the age of 44, was a well-known vocalist in the Bemidji area as a member of the Sweet Adeline’s and the popular Bemidji quartet “Two Chimes Two.” She also sang with the First Lutheran Church choir.

The DeKrey Scholarship was established by DeKrey’s family — her husband Dr. Donald DeKrey of Bemidji and their four children Steve DeKrey, Betsy Tower, Dr. Dan DeKrey and Nancy Glenn. The family started the event by pooling memorial money following DeKrey’s death in 1986. For the DeKreys, the scholarship competition has become an important living memorial, as well as a way to give students an opportunity to perform in a competitive situation. Family members attend the competition and assist with judging along with a panel of Bemidji State music faculty.

For more information on the DeKrey Scholarship Concert, contact the Department of Music at (218) 755-2915.

Persons interested in contributing to BSU scholarship programs may contact the BSU Foundation at (218) 755-2762.

April 19
– 3 p.m. – Ione DeKrey Scholarship Concert presented by Bemidji State University and featuring student vocalists. Location: Thompson Recital Hall of the Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex on the BSU campus. Admission: free of charge.