25th Anniversary DeKrey Scholarship Concert at Bemidji State set for April 9

BEMIDJI, Minn. (March 29, 2011) — The 25th Annual DeKrey Scholarship Concert will feature Bemidji State University student vocalists in a competition beginning at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 9, 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 52 young vocalists with nearly $35,000 in scholarships. This year’s competition will award $1,000 scholarships to each of the top three finishers immediately following the contest, marking the third 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. The nine competitors  in this year’s competition are Amanda Boring, a junior in mathematics education, music and mathematics from Lenexa, Kan.; Emily Cooper, a sophomore in music from Chandler, Ariz.; Nicholas Dahn, a senior in music from Park Rapids, Minn.; Anna DeJong, a sophomore in music from Coon Rapids, Minn.; Jessica Jacobson, a junior in music from Coon Rapids, Minn.; Amber Joel, a junior in music from Badger, Minn.; Ronald Lovelace, a senior in music from St. Paul Park, Minn.; Margaret Ragan, a sophomore in music from Ortonville, Minn.; and Lauren Skarloken, a sophomore in music from Deerwood, Minn.

The three winners of the 2010 DeKrey competition — Eric Benson, a senior in music from Duluth, Minn.; Erik Bergsven, a senior in music from Bemidji; and Mattea Elhard, a junior in music from Bemidji — will also perform at the concert.

In addition, the 25th anniversary concert will feature performances from numerous past winners, including Natalie Cross Campbell (1998 winner), Katie Theis Corning (2007), Jessica Fisher (2008) and Mathew Verbout (2009).

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.