Richard Edstrom

1996 F. Melius Christiansen Lifetime Achievement Award
Richard Edstrom

The Armstrong High School choirs, led by Richard Edstrom, performed at several ACDA and MMEA state conventions as well as the 1978 North Central Division ACDA Convention. The Select Choir won the first place trophy at the 1988 Quebec City Heritage Festival, and in 1995 won the Class AA trophy at the Festival of Choirs USA in Sioux Falls, SD. He initiated and sponsored an annual Madrigal Festival which was eventually continued by ACDA of Minnesota.

After attending high school at Minnehaha Academy, Dick went on to study at Northwestern College where he graduated cum laude in 1958. In 1966 he received his M.A. in music education from the University of Minnesota.

His first teaching position was at Lincoln Junior High in Minneapolis. He taught vocal and instrumental music in nine elementary schools, Hosterman Junior High School, and Cooper High School in Robbinsdale before being named vocal director at the new Armstrong High School in 1978. He built the program into five choirs by the time of his retirement in 1995. In the 1980s Dick spent six years as director of choral activities at Northwestern College before returning to Armstrong High School in 1986.

Dick Edstrom has also been active as a tenor soloist in the Twin Cities and in church music. He served three terms as Metro District chair on the ACDA of Minnesota executive board, and was treasurer of the organization from 1993-1997.