Music students compete for DeKrey scholarships

Bemidji State University music students will perform for an opportunity to receive three $1,000 awards as part of the Department of Music’s annual competition for its Ione L. DeKrey Memorial Music Scholarships, April 12.

The 28th annual competition celebrates the life of DeKrey, who graduated from BSU in 1975 at the age of 44. Ten student vocalists are competing for one of three scholarships from the endowment in her name, the Ione DeKrey Memorial Vocal Music Scholarship. The competition is open to vocal music majors who have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or a music GPA of 3.25 or higher.

The competition, which is open to the public free of charge, begins at 3 p.m. April 12 in the Thompson Recital Hall of BSU’s Bangsberg Fine Arts Complex. A wide variety of musical styles will be featured, including arias, arts songs and musical theater selections. A reception will follow the concert.

In addition to the students participating in the scholarship competition, the concert will feature performances from past winners Callie Dunbar, a junior majoring in music and social work from Little Canada, Minn.; Anna DeJong, a senior in music education and music from Coon Rapids, Minn.; Margaret Ragan, a senior in music education from Ortonville, Minn.; Luke Barnard, a sophomore music major from Le Seuer, Minn.; and Lorrisa Craigmile, a senior in music education from Thief River Falls, Minn.

“Having this competition is a great addition to our program, and we are extremely blessed to have the love and support of the DeKrey family.” said Dr. Cory Renbarger, assistant professor of music. “The scholarship helps support our students financially, and the contest offers a great boost to morale. Our students not only get the opportunity to compete in a high-stakes competition, but also can support and learn from each other’s hard work on stage.”

About Ione DeKrey
Ione 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 Ione’s death. For the DeKreys, the scholarship competition has become an important living memorial and 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.

Since its inception in 1986, the DeKrey Award has supported 60 young vocalists with nearly $40,000 in scholarships. The competition was expanded in 2008, awarding scholarships to three winners each year.

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

Dr. Cory Renbarger, assistant professor of music; (218) 755-2867

DeKrey Vocal Music Scholarship competitors
Bemidji | 56601 | Miranda Carlson, sophomore, music education; soprano
Bemidji | 56601 | Tia Ellies, senior, music education; soprano
Bemidji | 56601 | Joshua Michael Sorenson, freshman, music education; tenor
Lester Prairie | 55354 | Gwendolyn Pelzel, senior, music; soprano
Redwood Falls | 56283 | Derek Bebeau, freshman, music education;baritone
Slayton | 56172 | Molly Bass, junior, music education & music; mezzo-soprano
Staples | 56479 | Lynnea Iverson, junior, music education; mezzo-soprano
Thief River Falls | 56701 | Leandra Craigmile, sophomore, music education; mezzo-soprano

Bedford | 76021 | Caitlin Rogers, senior, music; mezzo-soprano

Chippewa Falls | 54729 | Kyle Baldeshwiler, freshman, music education; baritone