Elias J. Halling

1981 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
Elias J. Halling (1906-1990)

Elias J. Halling, a native a Valley City , ND graduated from Augsburg College and studied at Northwestern University, the University of Minnesota, and UCLA. From 1927-1936 he taught music in the public schools of Arlington, Tracy and New Ulm, Minnesota. In 1936 he joined the music faculty of Mankato State University and organized the college's first choral program consisting of an a cappella choir, the madrigal singers, women's and men's choruses and an oratorio chorus. When his madrigal singers performed at the Minnesota Education Convention in the Fall of 1936, it was considered the first madrigal group in the state.

In 1939 Mr. Halling was appointed chair of the music department and also of the division of Fine and Applied Arts at the college. Then in 1964 he became dean of the university's School of Arts and Sciences, and helped plan the school's Per-forming Arts Center. He was cited in 1965-66 in "Who's Who in America" and in "Outstanding Educators of America." In 1967 Halling was also cited at the MMEA clinic for his contributions to music education in Minnesota.

When he retired on July 1, 1974, he had contributed 47 years of educational service in Minnesota, 38 of them at Mankato State. Prior to his retirement, the new recital hall on the campus was named for him.