F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award

Established in 1973, this award is for members who have:

  • Lifelong conducting experience providing outstanding contributions and distinguished service to choral music in Minnesota.
  • Significant and noteworthy accomplishments that embody the distinction and significance of the
    name “F. Melius Christiansen,” founder and director of the St. Olaf Choir.

2014 - Michael Smith

Area: College, High School

  • Concordia College • 2006-2012 & 2014-15
  • Brainerd High School • 1967-1970 & 1984-2006
  • Brainerd Community College • 1970-1974
  • Willmar High School • 1974-1980
  • Aitkin High School • 1966-1967
  • ACDA-MN State President • 1993-1995
  • Choral Director • Voice Teacher • Master Clinician
  • Full Bio

 

 

2013 - Robert L. Peterson

Area: College, Church, High School

  • Chesterton Academy - 2009 to present
  • Twin Cities Catholic Chorale - 2000 to present
  • Macalester College - 1998-2008
  • Edina High School - 1976-1998
  • ACDA-MN State President - 1987-89
  • Choral Director • Voice Teacher • Professional Singer • Music Administrator • State Leader
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

2012 - John Ferguson

Area: Collegiate & Church Music

  • Professor of Organ and Church Music • St. Olaf College • 1983-2012
  • Music Director & Organist • Central Lutheran Church • 1978-1983
  • Artistic Director of Hymn Festivals at:
  • ACDA National Conference • 1995 & 2011
  • ACDA North Central Conference • 1988 & 1998
  • ACDA-MN State Conference - 2008
  • Teacher • Author • Composer • Arranger • Editor • Hymn Improvisor
  • Full Bio

 

2011 - Axel Theimer

Area: Collegiate, Professional

  • Choral Director at St. John's University since 1969
  • Artistic Director of Kantorei
  • Executive Director of Voice Care Network
  • Guest Conductor • Clinician • Adjudicator
  • Full Bio

 

2010 - Carl Lipke

Area: High School, MN State HS League

  • Choral Director at North St. Paul High School for 39 years
  • Choral Director of 3M Music Makers for 25 years
  • Music Consultant for MSHSL since 1971
  • President of ACDA of Minnesota, 1969-70
  • Chair of FMC Endowment Committee, 2007-2011
  • Full Bio

 

2008 - Jan Gilbertson

Area: High School, Church

  • Director at Park High School, St. Paul Park, 1966-1994
  • Director of Music at St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church, Mahtomedi, since 1988
  • MMEA President and Choral Vice President
  • Guest Conductor • Clinician • Adjudicator
  • Singer and Organist
  • Chair, FMC Endowment Fund Committee, 2011-2015
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

2007 - Bruce W. Becker

Area: High School, Church

  • Choral Director at Apple Valley High School, 1986-2007
  • State and Division ACDA president
  • Program Chair for NC-ACDA Division Convention, 1998
  • Program Chair for Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music, 2002
  • Coordinator of 125th and 135th FMC Anniversary Concerts
  • First Executive Director for ACDA of Minnesota begun in 2009
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

  

 

2006 - Sigrid Johnson

Area: College

  • Conductor of St. Olaf College Manitou Singers 1983-2015
  • Associate Conductor of VocalEssence
  • Former Associate Conductor of the Dale Warland Singers
  • Voice Instructor
  • Active guest clinician and conductor
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

2005 - Steven O. Boehlke

Area: High School

  • Choral Director at Rosemount High School, 1976-2000
  • 35 years in church music
  • State and Division ACDA president
  • ACDA & MMEA Choral Director of the Year
  • “Distinguished Teacher” designation by White House Commission
  • MMEA Hall of Fame
  • Founding Director of Minnesota Valley Men’s Chorale
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

2004 - Robert D. Mix

Area: High School

  • Choral director at Duluth East High School, 1960-1987
  • 34 years in public school music education
  • 5 European concert tours
  • Bass soloist in cantatas and operas in Duluth
  • Appearances at both ACDA and MMEA North Central Conventions
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

2003 - Diana J. Leland

Area: Junior/Senior High School

  • Choral director at Valley View Middle School & Edina High School, 1974-2005
  • State, Division, and National ACDA President
  • Served on Board of Directors for IFCM
  • First general manager of the Dale Warland Singers
  • Member of Chorus America
  • Recipient of the 2008 NC-ACDA Weston Noble Award
  • First Director of Development for ACDA-MN
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

2002 - Karle J. Erickson

Area: College, Professional

  • Founder and Director of World Voices, 1996-2009
  • Leader in the performance of multi-cultural music
  • Choral Director at Gustavus Adolphus College, 1980-1995
  • National and international conductor and clinician
  • Wrote Choral Warmups from A to Z
  • ACDA North Central division president
  • Full Bio

 

 

2001 - Katherine Doepke

Area: Junior High School

  • Taught junior high school music in Minneapolis Public Schools, 1963-1983
  • Active in church music and other church organizations
  • Served as secretary-treasurer for ACDA of Minnesota
  • Organized three divisional and national junior high honor choirs
  • Active in Thursday Musical and many other music organizations
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

2000 - Wayne M. Kivell

Area: High School, Community

  • Choral director at Northfield High School, 1969-1994
  • Founder and director of I Cantanti Chamber Choir
  • ACDA state and division president
  • First Executive Secretary for ACDA of Minnesota, 1997-2009
  • Clinician and adjudicator
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

1999 - Larry L. Fleming (1936-2003)

Area: Professional, College

  • Founder and Director of the National Lutheran Choir, 1986-1999
  • Advanced degrees in composition, conducting and musicology
  • Directed choirs at Valparaiso University
  • Concordia College, Augsburg College
  • Well-known composer and arranger
  • Editor of NLC Choral Series with Augsburg-Fortress Press
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

 

 

1998 - Philip Brunelle

Area: Professional, Church

  • Founder and Artistic Director of Plymouth Music Series/VocalEssence since 1969
  • Well known as a conductor in the United States and around the world
  • Known for creative programming in contemporary repertoire
  • Served on the National Council for the Arts
  • Honorary doctorates from four Minnesota institutions
  • Board Member, International Federation for Choral Music
  • President, Sixth World Symposium on Choral Music – Minneapolis, 2002
  • Full Bio

 

1996 - Richard Edstrom

Area: High School

  • Director of Choirs at Armstrong High School, 1970-78; 1986-95
  • Director of Choirs at Northwestern College, 1978-1985
  • Initiated madrigal festival for high school singers
  • Active as a tenor soloist
  • Member of ACDA-MN Board of Directors for 9 years
  • ACDA-MN State Treasurer
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

1995 - Robert Scholz

Area: College

  • Director of St. Olaf College Chapel Choir & Viking Chorus, 1968-2005
  • Composer and arranger
  • Teacher of voice, choral conducting, and choral literature
  • Choral clinician and festival director
  • Active in ACDA, NATS, and American Composer’s Forum
  • Full Bio

 

1994 - Paul Brandvik

Area: College

  • Director of the Bemidji State University Choirs, 1967-1998
  • Guest conductor of All-State Choirs and International festivals
  • Directed Bemidji Choir at ACDA, MENC,
  • Europa Cantat, and Zimriya
  • Composer • Arranger • Editor
  • Author of The Compleete Madrigal Dinner Booke
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

1993 - Dale Warland

Area: Professional, College

  • Founder and Director of the Dale Warland Singers, 1972-2004
  • Champion of 20th century choral music through
  • Performances and commissions
  • Director of the Macalester College Choir, 1967-1985
  • Choral composer and arranger
  • Clinician and guest director in American and Europe
  • Recipient of 2010 NC-ACDA Weston Noble Award
  • Full Bio

 

1992 - Alice T. Larsen (1929-2004)

Area: College

  • Director of Manitou Singers, St. Olaf College, 1955-1983
  • Taught at St. Olaf for 34 years
  • Outstanding voice instructor;
  • Expert in tone production and vocal pedagogy
  • Contralto soloist
  • Clinician • Adjudicator • Guest Conductor 
  • Full Bio

 

1991 - Roger Tenney

Area: High School

  • Choral Director at Owatonna High School, 1960-1992
  • National Teacher of the Year in 1967
  • Clinician and festival choir director
  • Twice President for ACDA of Minnesota
  • MMEA Choral Educator of the Year, 1989
  • Chair, FMC Endowment Fund Committee, 1996-2007
  • Full Bio

 

1990 - Geneva Eschweiler

Area: Community College

  • Voice Teacher and Choral Director at Fergus Falls Community College, 1962-1993
  • 43 years of service to the Fergus Falls area
  • Director of summer music theatre
  • Noted voice teacher and members of NATS
  • Active in ACDA as district chair, state secretary
  • and R&S Chair for community colleges
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

 

1989 - Kenneth L. Jennings (1925-2015)

Area: College

  • Conductor, St. Olaf Choir, 1968-1990
  • International tours continued the heritage
  • Composer • Arranger • Lecturer
  • Published works include Sing Legato warm up book
  • Noted for innovative programming and concerted works
  • Full Bio

 

1988 - Arnold F. Caswell (1922-1988)

Area: College, Music Education

  • Professor of Music, University of Minnesota
  • Performer • Clarinet • Recorder • Bassoon • Renaissance Reeds
  • Quarter for Young Audiences
  • Author of educational articles
  • Early Music Quartet, vocalist
  • Full Bio

 

1986 - Murrae N. Freng (1924-2014)

Area: High School

  • ACDA Charter Member, 1959
  • Clinician • Adjudicator
  • Music/Speech Director, Minnesota High School League, 1965-1970
  • Executive Director, Minnesota State High School League, 1970-1985
  • Editor – MMEA Gopher Music Notes
  • President – MMEA
  • MSHSL and MMEA Hall of Fame
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

1985 - Ronald A. Nelson (1927-2014)

Area: Church

  • Director of Music and Choir School
  • Westwood Lutheran Church, St. Louis Park, 1955-1992
  • Composer • Arranger • Clinician
  • Lutheran Book of Worship Hymn Music Committee
  • Board member, National Choristers Guild
  • Twin City Choirmasters Association
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • ACDA National Wall of Honor
  • Full Bio

1984 - Robert Holliday (1907-1994)

Area: College

  • Director, Hamline University Choir, 1942-1971
  • Noted for performing works of Ernst Krenek,
  • who was chairman of the Hamline Music Department
  • 1967 Latin American Choir Tour, sponsored by U.S. State Department
  • Full Bio

 

1983 - Curtis E. Hansen (1920-2011)

Area: High School, Publishing

  • One of six original founders of ACDA in 1959
  • One of 100 charter members in the nation
  • National Vice President for ACDA in 1960-61
  • MMEA Vice President & President
  • Editor, Schmitt Hall & McCreary
  • Founder, President, Editor of Curtis Music Press
  • Clinician • Conductor
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • ACDA National Wall of Honor
  • Full Bio

 

1982 - Harry P. Opel (1921-2002)

Area: Church, High School

  • Director, Minnehaha Academy Singers, 1948-1985
  • Minister of Music, First Covenant Church, St. Paul
  • Bass-baritone soloist in oratorio and opera
  • Vocal coach • Choral Clinician
  • Full Bio

1981 - A.B. (Bud) Engen (1919-2006)

Area: High School

  • Choral Director at White Bear Lake High School, 1959-1984
  • Church choir director, 23 years
  • MMEA Secretary/Treasurer
  • Director of New Heritage Singers & Lutheran Brotherhood Singers
  • Member, FMC Endowment Fund Committee
  • Full Bio

 

1980 - Elias J. Halling (1906-1990)

Area: College

  • Choral Director, Chairman of Music Department, Dean
  • Mankato State University  – 1936-1974
  • MSU Recital Hall named after him
  • Taught in several Minnesota high schools
  • Full Bio

 

1979 - Carl O. Thompson (1906-1983)

Area: College

  • Choral Director, Bemidji State College, 1937-1967
  • Formed a cappella choir, Civic Oratorio Society
  • Lutheran Campus Center in Bemidji
  • President of MMEA
  • Lecturer, 20 years at Paul Christiansen Choral Schools
  • Clinician and Editor, 55 Art Songs
  • Full Bio

 

1978 - Paul J. Christiansen (1914-1997)

Area: College

  • Conductor, Concordia Choir, 1937-1986
  • Composer • Arranger • Clinician
  • Paul Christiansen Choral Schools
  • International tours continued the heritage
  • ACDA National Wall of Honor
  • Full Bio

 

 

 

 

1977 - C. Wesley Andersen (1907-1998)

Area: Church, School

  • Music Consultant, Minneapolis Public Schools, 1957-1972
  • Vocal Director Minneapolis Roosevelt High School, 1933-1957
  • DMA in Musicology and Organ Performance at age 75
  • Church organist for 50 years
  • Memoirs:  From the Kitchen Table to Organ Bench
  • Full Bio

 

1976 - Olaf C. Christiansen (1901-1984)

Area: College

  • Conductor, St. Olaf Choir, 1941-1968
  • Composer • Arranger • Clinician
  • Clinician at Paul Christiansen Choral Schools
  • International tours continued the heritage
  • ACDA National Wall of Honor
  • Full Bio

 

1975 - Edith Norberg (1907-1978)

Area: Children, Church

  • Minister of Music, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church, Minneapolis, 1950-1969
  • Founder and Director, the Carillon Choristers
  • First U.S. children’s choir to place in 30 years at
  • International Musical Eisteddfod, Wales, competition
  • Full Bio

 

1974 - Leland B. Sateren (1913-2007)

Area: College

  • First recipient of this award
  • Conductor, Augsburg Choir, 1946-79
  • Composer • Arranger • Writer
  • Sateren Choral Workshops
  • Conductor, The Sateren Choir
  • ACDA National Wall of Honor
  • Full Bio