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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.

  • Chen-Beyers, Yi-Ping
    Adjunct Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102
    Phone: 218.477.2101
    Email: yiping.chenbeyers@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Dr. Christina Yi-Ping Chen-Beyers currently serves as the Orchestra Director of the University Orchestra in Fargo-Moorhead, an ensemble which includes students from Minnesota State University-Moorhead and North Dakota State University. She is also the music director of the Mississippi Valley Orchestra in St. Paul and Northern Valley Youth Orchestras in Grand Forks. As a Sample Fellow in Conducting at the University Of Minnesota-Twin Cities she led the Campus Orchestra and founded the Campus String Orchestra and Summer Orchestra. As an educator and performer, she currently holds positions as oboe instructor at University of North Dakota and North Dakota State University where she is a member of the NDSU faculty woodwind quintet. Dr. Chen-Beyers holds a DMA degree in conducting from University of Minnesota; a Masters Degree in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University. Her principal conducting teachers include Mark Russell Smith, Victor Yampolsky, and Raffi Armenian. Mrs. Chen-Beyers resides in Moorhead with her husband Foster and daughter Amelia.

  • 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.

  • Johnk, Maxfield
    Adjunct Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102
    Phone: 218.477.2101
    Email:
    Web Site:
    Jazz Combos - Max Johnk is a bassist, composer, and educator who lives and works in Moorhead, Minnesota. Max’s early experiences playing in Fargo- Moorhead’s underground punk and metal scene inspired him to pursue a career as a professional musician. Upon entering college, Max began playing string bass under the tutelage of Alex Pershounin and Brian Roessler, and has since had the opportunity to perform in a wide variety of musical contexts that reflect his diverse tastes and training. Max has worked as a sideman with Post Traumatic Funk Syndrome, Allen Carter, Nick Fryer, Fareed Haque, Simon Rowe, Haley Rydell, the Fargo Moorhead Symphony, and many others. Max’s longest-running project, the doom metal trio Benefactor, has toured the Midwest and released three albums, including 2013’s Antiphon, while his first album of original jazz compositions, entitled Lessons of Drought, will be released in late 2014. Max earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Performance from Minnesota State University Moorhead, and his Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies from Northern Illinois University.

  • 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, Aural Skills, and Commercial Music

  • 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.

  • Millard, Erynn
    Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 106
    Phone: 218.477.2101
    Email: erynn.millard@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Erynn Millard is a native of Fremont, California. She holds a Ph.D. in choral music education and conducting from The Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida where she was the assistant conductor for FSU’s Choral Union, University Singers and Vocal Jazz as well as the Tallahassee Community Chorus. Additionally, she holds a Master of Science in Secondary Music Education and a Bachelor of Vocal Music Education from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia. She has studied conducting and music education with André Thomas, Kevin Fenton, Judy Bowers, and Nancy Klein. Dr. Millard previously taught choral music for ten years in Virginia with Newport News Public Schools. Her service there included one year as a music resource teacher at Magruder Primary School, two years as a choral director and general music teacher at Dozier Middle School, and seven years as the Director of Choirs at Menchville High School. While at Menchville, Dr. Millard engaged in recruitment, expanding the choral department to include a new chamber ensemble and an advanced women’s choir while revitalizing the long-standing show choir program. Dr. Millard’s choral ensembles have consistently received superior ratings and top placements at local, regional, and national competitions and festivals. Her areas of research interest include the role of ensemble competitions in choral music education and strategies for performing major and minor works in the high school choral classroom. At MSUM, Dr. Millard is the Director of Choral Activities, working with the Concert Choir as well as the Festival Men’s and Women’s Choirs. Additionally, she also teaches choral and general music education courses.

  • Seidel, Matthew
    Adjunct Faculty
    School of Performing Arts

    Office: CA 102
    Phone: 218.477.2101
    Email: seidelma@mnstate.edu
    Web Site:
    Adjunct Guitar- Matt received a Bachelor of Music Performance degree (summa cum laude) at Minnesota State University Moorhead.  He has studied guitar under Nick Fryer, Michael Krajewski, Dan Phillips, Emanuel Kiriakou, Neal Thorgrimson, and Pete McCann.  Matt has played professionally for over 24 years with numerous groups and genres of music including multiple tours of Europe.  Most recently in the Fargo/Moorhead area one can hear him play with the FM Kicks Big Band, and an R&B/Soul group called “Heart and Soul”.  Matt also spends time in the studio writing, including a solo guitar instrumental album titled Overflo.  Matt has been teaching private and group lessons for 24 years. 

  • 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:
    Applied Percussion, Percussion Ensemble, World Music