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Letters: An honor to work with Detroit Lakes school choirs

It was my honor to work with the choirs of the Detroit Lakes Middle and High Schools on April 9 and 10 as a part of the 36th Annual All-City Choir Festival. As a 1997 graduate of DLHS, it was a special experience for me. I left reminded of enriching formative experiences and filled with hope for the continued growth and success of music education in the lakes area. ISD 22 is fortunate to have a talented music faculty and a student body committed to the art of singing.

The preparedness of the middle school choirs was nothing short of amazing. As young adults often governed by impulse rather than reason, these students showed a remarkable savvy in rehearsing, discussing, and performing the music chosen by their instructor. Clearly, Mrs. Satrom is a gifted teacher of middle level students and is given the latitude to implement best practice teaching techniques in her classroom. This is not the case in every district. How fortunate it is so in Detroit Lakes!

Mrs. Larson's work at DLHS is also superior. Choirs under her tutelage are performing advanced repertoire at a high level of proficiency. The students in these ensembles are musically literate, innately artistic, and highly committed. Each choir has it's own unique atmosphere that fosters camaraderie and spurs investigative learning. Mrs. Larson is a creative instructor who maintains wonderful rapport with students while engaging them in serious learning.

Few school districts comparable in size to Detroit Lakes have such a large and competent music faculty. Each of these people should be commended for the work they do in teaching kids about music. Congratulations to Jane Ballard, Pat Benson, Karen Bimberg, Kara Brager, Paul Dierkhising, Deb Melgaard, and Heather Trowbridge for their work.

Additionally, the countless hours of Paul Heisler, Susan Champa, and Ginny Kline as rehearsal and performance accompanists should be recognized and applauded. Each of these professionals is both inspired and inspiring.

Without invested parents and a supportive community, none of this would be possible. I wish to thank all of Detroit Lakes for its continued commitment to arts education as an invaluable gift to its children. If you feel so moved, please take time to call, e-mail, or visit a school administrator or school board member to extend your gratitude for their dedication to the same ideal.

Loved, intelligent, and well-rounded youth are Detroit Lakes' priceless present-day treasure and indelible legacy for the future. I extend my heartfelt thanks to the district administration and music staff for allowing me to be a part of this special community once again. It was a great privilege. -- Mark Potvin, conductor, SCSU Men' s Choir, associate conductor, SCSU Concert Choir