24th Annual DeKrey Scholarship Contest set for March 27

BEMIDJI, Minn. (March 12, 2010) — The 24th Annual DeKrey Scholarship Concert will feature Bemidji State University student vocalists in a competition beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, March 27, in an event celebrating the life of Bemidji State 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 49 young vocalists with more than $30,000 in scholarships. The 2009 competition will award $1,000 scholarships to each of the top three finishers immediately following the contest, marking the second year that the contest has awarded three scholarships in a single event.

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

Participants in the 2010 DeKrey Scholarship Contest include Eric Benson (Sr., music/liberal arts, Duluth, Minn.), Erik Bergsven (Jr., vocal music education, Bemidji, Minn.), Amanda Boring (Fr., mathematics education & music/liberal arts, Lenexa, Kan.), Nate Chesney (Sr., music/teacher certification, Bemidji, Minn.), Emily Cooper (Fr., music/teacher certification, Chandler, Ariz.), Nicholas Dahn (So., music/liberal arts, Park Rapids, Minn.), Anna DeJong (Fr., music/teacher certification, Coon Rapids, Minn.), Mattea Elhard (So., music/teacher certification, Bemidji, Minn.), Alex Ferderer (Fr., music/teacher certification, Bismarck, N.D.), Jessica Jacobson (So., undecided, Coon Rapids, Minn.), Amber Joel (Fr., music/teacher certification, Badger, Minn.), Lauren Skarloken (Fr., music/teacher certification, Deerwood, Minn.), Anna Smith (So., undecided, Grand Forks, N.D.), John Stewart (Jr., music/liberal arts, Blue Earth, Minn.), Charlie Stier (So., music/teacher certification, Bemidji, Minn.) and Shelby Thorstad (Fr., music/liberal arts & music/teacher certification, Ray, Minn.).

The three winners of the 2009 DeKrey competition — Ashley Bremseth (Sr., Fergus Falls, Minn.), Angela Hesse (Sr., Comfrey, Minn.) and Mathew Verbout (Sr., Grygla, Minn.) — will also perform at the concert.

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 and their four children, Steve DeKrey, Betsey 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, contact the Department of Music at (218) 755-2915.

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

March 27
– 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 with reception to follow. Information: (218) 755-2762.