Murrae Freng

1987 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
Murrae Freng

Murrae Freng pursued music early since both his parents were musicians. His father played old time fiddle and his mother the piano. He attended Concordia College, Moorhead, with the intention of becoming a band director, until he studied under Paul J. Christiansen. Receiving a Master of Arts degree from MacPhail and additional study at the University of Minnesota and St. Cloud State University, he became both a band and choir director. From 1952-1965 he was the director of choral music and the chairman of the music department at Alexandria High School. Here he initiated a clinic/concert program in which an outstanding guest conductor was employed each year to conduct a two day festival. Freng himself served as a frequent clinician and adjudicator throughout his career.

From 1965-70 Freng served as assistant to the executive director of the Minnesota State High School League with primary responsibility for music and speech activities. From 1970-1985 he was the Executive Director of this organization. Other honors include directing the Runic Male Chorus, the Apollo Club and many church choirs. He was a charter member of ACDA in 1959 (one of three from Minnesota), editor of the MMEA Gopher Music Notes, chairman of the council of state editors (MENC North Central Division), president of MMEA, and named one of six charter members of the MMEA Hall of Fame.