MFMC’s 56th Biennial Convention Recap

Minnesota Federation of Music Clubs (MFMC) 56th Biennial Convention

mp-mf • Musical Performance – Minnesota Festival

Wednesday & Thursday • August 7 & 8, 2013 • Holiday Inn and Suites, Lakeville, MN

How Can I Keep From Singing? Because of the success of MFMC’s biennial convention, our hearts should be singing this week. Applause and accolades go to the three hosting clubs – Apple Valley, Burnsville and South Suburban — and most especially to Kathy Wilson, Mary Wescott and Pat Steege, for their diligence in pulling together the elements of education, entertainment and encouragement. The convention theme, mp-mf Musical Performance-Minnesota Festival, was chosen to depict the difference between Day 1 and Day 2 agendas. Dr. Christopher Atzinger and Mr. Doug Rohde educated us to improve our musical performances. Day 1 also featured the all-member meeting, election of officers, and the world premier of Chris Wolf’s By Any Other Name, the middle movement of a commissioned suite of piano solos commemorating MFMC’s beloved Rose Zygmanski. Club reports that traditionally are given every other year were heard and enjoyed. Members experienced Day 1 musical performances by a select group of students in the honors recital, and a stellar performance by Grand Cup winner Matthew VanRisseghem. Six year old Iggy Rosado, stealing the show in his Mozart costume, played his award winning composition The Spooky Lion accompanied by his mother Shannon Guse.

The Holiday Inn Lakeville brought out its elegant black and white linens for the evening banquet catered by Rudy’s Redeye Grill featuring their famous prime rib. NFMC President Carolyn Nelson engaged us with an interesting history of our 120 year old Federation. Leaving the banquet hall (or should I say waddling) with gifts of red roses and Abdalla chocolate we took the few steps into the concert ballroom. A Tribute to Gershwin was the focus of piano music played by Darin Tsydale. He covered many well known Gershwin tunes such as I Got Rhythm, O Lady be Good, and Swanee. Next Darin nailed the three preludes, other concert pieces and finished with a dreamy Someone To Watch Over Me sung by Mary Wescott. Day 1 finale – a good night’s sleep.

Day 2 dawned with a French toast, bacon and eggs buffet and the first fresh cup of what we Americans call the continuous coffee break. Jeannene Simonson led a reverent memorial service for five deceased MFMC members, lighting a candle for each while friends read tributes. We sang Hymn of Promise from the official NFMC songbook Together We Sing.

The Junior Composers summer camp program was the subject of reports, financial grants, and conversation several times on Day 1; Day 2 gave us the chance to sing a composition written by Christian Messier of Lakeville. Fifteen year old Christian was an enthusiastic composer from the 2013 camp at the U of M.

Judy Zylstra took the floor to lead us through the very important subject of what is new with Festivals for 2014 and what is new in the Bulletin. The National organization, being a dignified elderly lady of traditions, is slowly and carefully bending to the age of technology, thus the need to begin preparing in Minnesota. We will now need to submit full names (first, middle, last) of all our Juniors to our state treasurer by November 1st and pay a $1 per student membership fee. Be aware that eventually birthdates will also be required. By having collected this data ahead of time, we will be better prepared for on-line Festivals registration when it finally comes upon us. National will be building a data base that keeps track of all Juniors and their gold cup points. This will allow a student who moves to a new location to transfer his records without a risk of losing the history of his trophy points. To get some perspective, Minnesota has over 5,000 participants in Festival each year; over 90,000 Juniors across the United States participate yearly.

To help piano teachers prepare for the 2014 Festival, Judy Zylstra enlisted the help of seven members plus herself in previewing all the pieces from Pre-Primary through Medium levels.

Schmitt Music was very helpful to the 56th biennial convention by bringing their portable music store for teachers to purchase Festival music at a 20% discount. A nine foot concert grand Steinway, provided by Schmitt’s, anchored the attention on itself and what it iconically symbolizes for MFMC – passion for good music.

There is a spiritualizing force to music. With our official Collect we pray that God guides us as we bring this force to the United States, through this nine foot grand piano, through our musicians, and through their voices and instruments, into the buildings and streets of our nation. How can we keep from singing? Impossible.

~ Pat Steege