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  • Meet the Faculty & Staff
  • Music

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  • Meet the Faculty & Staff

  • Blunsom, Laurie
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 106
    Phone: 218.477.4606
    Email: blunsom@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Laurie Blunsom received her Ph.D. in musicology at Brandeis University and also holds an MFA in musicology and women's studies from Brandeis and a master's degree from the New England Conservatory. Her principal interest is in the participation of women in music in the United States during the 19th and 20th centuries. She has presented several papers on women composers in 19th-century America at conferences such as the Society for American and Music, Feminist Theory and Music and the Women's History Network. She has articles forthcoming on the performance and reception of women's songs in Boston at the turn of the 20th century and on the collaboration between female composers and poets. Her current projects include a study of the diaries of Frances Lang and the role of women in Boston's cultural life, and a collection of essays on women in music in 20th century America.

  • Carter, Allen
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 140
    Phone: 218.477.4098
    Email: carter@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: acmuzik.com
    Allen Carter has a diverse background as a composer, arranger, drummer, percussionist and educator. Born and raised in Ellinwood, Kansas, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from Kansas State University, and his Master of Music and Doctor of Arts degrees from the University of Northern Colorado. Throughout his school years, he won numerous awards in the areas of performance and composition/arranging. A member of the American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers and the Film Music Network, Dr. Carter’s work as a composer/arranger includes CBS Television’s Motown Records specials, the cable television series Humonos, the Tournament of Roses Parade, the Miss America pageant, commercials, and documentaries for the department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In addition, he has written extensively for instrumental and vocal jazz groups at all levels. He has recently recorded “Gifts”, a CD of his compositions and arrangements for big band featuring an ensemble of the top studio musicians in Los Angeles. As a drummer/percussionist (he began performing with local groups at age 11), Dr. Carter has performed with the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, the Joffrey Ballet, Les Brown’s Band of Renown, the Los Angeles Jazz Workshop and numerous other Los Angeles area big bands. He has worked with such vocalists as Nancy Wilson, Johnny Mathis, Ray Charles, Melissa Manchester, Harry Connick Jr., and Glen Campbell and has been involved in numerous recording sessions for records, films, and commercials. Appearances as featured artist have taken Dr. Carter across the United States as well as to concert stages and jazz clubs in many foreign countries. At the current time, Allen serves as Associate Professor of Music at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he teaches freshman music theory, drum set, and courses in the jazz studies and music industry programs while being an active member of a busy jazz scene in the Fargo-Moorhead area. He has lectured internationally to educators and students on a wide range of jazz education and percussion topics. Performing groups under his direction have been awarded recognition at the national level and he has directed numerous honor groups for educator associations throughout the western United States. Along with his ongoing work teaching, writing and playing, Dr. Carter heads his own company that develops interactive CD-ROM teaching tools for use by jazz educators and their students.

  • Dufault, Jenny
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 137
    Phone: 218.477.4607
    Email: dufault@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Dr. Jenny Dufault is an Associate Professor and has taught applied voice, vocal pedagogy, song literature, opera workshop, and opera literature at Minnesota State University Moorhead for the past twelve years. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Music from SUNY Potsdam--the Crane School of Music. She has also completed graduate work at both Boston University and Indiana University, and has taught at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and at Belvoir Terrace in Lenox, MA. Jenny is an active soloist performing primarily around the Fargo/Moorhead area, and has recently released her first CD entitled Dedication with pianist Sue Nagel. Dr. Dufault is the founder of the Kodály Institute at MSUM and was its coordinator for 9 years. Prior to coming to MSUM, she worked with children and children’s voices for over fifteen years: this included teaching music in the St. Paul Public Schools and in the public schools of Maynard, MA. She lives in Fargo and is a happy wife and mother of two children.

  • Grise, Monte
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 107
    Phone: 218.477.2103
    Email: monte.grise@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Monte C. Grisé is in his first year as Director of Bands at Minnesota State University Moorhead where he conducts the MSUM Wind Symphony, Symphonic Band and directs the athletic bands. He also teaches secondary instrumental conducting and instrumental methods. In addition, Grisé also serves as the applied saxophone instructor. Prior to his appointment at MSUM, Dr. Grisé was the Associate Director of Bands and Director of the Bengal Marching Band at Idaho State University in Pocatello, Idaho. In addition to running all aspects of the marching band and spirit bands, he taught courses in music education, music appreciation, directed Jazz Band II, Concert Band and the saxophone studio. As a successful public school teacher, Dr. Grisé held positions as the Director of Bands at Capital High School in Helena, Montana, and 5-12 Band and Choir Director in Manhattan, Montana. During his tenure in Helena, he directed the Helena Community Band, and was the Assistant Conductor of the Helena Symphony Orchestra. Grisé earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting and Pedagogy from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Montana State University – Bozeman. Monte lives in Moorhead, Minnesota with his wife Tiana and their two children Madeleine and Maxwell.

  • Gwiazda, Henry
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102B
    Phone: 218.477.4608
    Email: gwiazda@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: www.henrygwiazda.com
    Composition, Theory

  • Jackson, Ryan
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 138
    Phone: 218.477.2001
    Email: jacksonr@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: web.mnstate.edu/jackson
    As the Coordinator of Music Industry Program and Music Technology Specialist, I'm in charge of the music technology curriculum and recording studios. I help coordinate live sound reinforcement and recording for a myriad of different events that involve students, other faculty, and the university at large. As a veteran of the recording industry and an active performer, I’m incredibly proud of our department's equal focus on tradition and innovation. At MSUM, students have the opportunity to become well-rounded musicians while studying the music industry from all angles. Our students are second to none, and are well prepared for careers in an ever-changing world.

  • Krajewski, Michael
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102
    Phone: 218.477.2101
    Email: michael.krajewski@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: web.mnstate.edu/krajewski/
    Guitar, Jazz Guitar Ensemble, Jazz Combo, Improvisation

  • Manno, Terrie
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 104
    Phone: 218.477.4094
    Email: manno@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: web.mnstate.edu/manno
    Terrie Manno is a native of Santa Barbara, California. She took her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in Piano Performance (summa cum laude) from California State University, Fresno. In 1989 she received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in Piano Performance/Piano Pedagogy. Her artist teachers included Ms. Galina Michniuk, Roger Grove, Bob L. Bennett, Richard Faith, and Nicholas Zumbro. Her secondary area of doctoral study was Musicology, with James R. Anthony and John Boe. In addition to teaching and performing, Dr. Manno continues her studies in a number of related areas. She is a student of the Alexander Technique and a proponent of methods and innovations that lead to the development of injury-free piano technique. In 2007 she expanded her community outreach project for New Americans, adding a prenatal music course that she offers free of charge to expectant immigrant families. Dr. Manno's first European piano solo tour (2000) featured American piano music composed during the 1940's (Red, White and Blues). In 2001 she presented The Eternal Marriage of Music and Dance in Sepino, Italy. This recital featured piano music modeled after dance forms throughout the ages. In 2003 she returned to Italy, performing the music of Edward MacDowell, Aaron Copland, Louis Moreau Gottschalk, James Harley, and David del Tredici in a program entitled Open Ears and Kaleidoscopic Vision: American Piano Music and the New World Tradition. She also presented a lecture-demonstration to the class of emerging concert pianists at the Academy of La Scala in Milan. In 2005 Dr. Manno performed Fresh Voices: New American Piano Music in the United States and in Italy. This program featured works of composers Richard Faith, Elizabeth Faw Hayden Pizer, David Conte, David Hogan, Steve Heitzeg and Astor Pizzolla. Dr. Manno's 2007-2008 piano recital, in collaboration with musicologist Dr. Laurie Blunsom, was titled The Dance of Music: Imagining/Inviting/Engaging the Choreography of Sound. It featured repertoire by Ravel, Bach, Debussy, Prokofiev, Piazzolla, Albeniz, Milhaud, William Bolcom, Barber and Nancy Beach. Dr. Manno's performances on harpsichord and piano were preceded by Dr. Laurie Blunsom's discussion of the dance forms in historical context with accompanying slides and video. Professors Manno and Blunsom traveled to Norway, Iceland and Hawaii for performances of this program. Dr. Manno is currently Professor of Piano and Coordinator of Keyboard Studies at Minnesota State University, Moorhead. She is an active performing artist with a repertoire that spans several centuries. Dr. Manno has toured as a piano soloist in the United States, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Iceland and Norway. She frequently performs new music, and specializes in presenting Lecture-Recitals that explore the correspondences between music and the arts within a historical context.

  • Strait, Thomas
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102C
    Phone: 218.477.4096
    Email: straitth@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Dr. Tom Strait is currently in his twelfth year on the faculty at MSUM. In addition to serving as Chair of the Music Department, he teaches trumpet, horn, and jazz studies. He holds a Doctor of Arts degree in trumpet performance from the University of Northern Colorado, as well as degrees from the University of Texas and Henderson State University. Before coming to MSUM, he taught for several years at both the university and public school levels and served in the U.S. Air Force, playing with the USAF Academy Falconaires. An active free lance trumpet player, he has performed with many artists, including Bob Hope, Robert Goulet, Nancy Wilson, and Doc Severinsen. His past teachers include William Pfund, Raymond Crisara, and Donald Kramer. Dr. Strait is a Yamaha performing artist. For information regarding High Brass Studies at MSU Moorhead, please feel free to contact Dr. Strait.

  • Williams, Kenyon
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102E
    Phone: 218.477.4610
    Email: willdrum@mnstate.edu
    Web Site: www.mnstate.edu/music/kenyon-williams.aspx
    Applied Percussion, Percussion Ensemble, World Music