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Division of Music

Student Profiles

Jasmine Spitzer: Minot, North Dakota, BS in Music Education, Composite, freshma

If one were to ask me in high school where I planned on continuing my education, my responses would have varied. The one school that never crossed my mind was Minot State; I just wanted to get out of the place I had lived my whole life! About a month before classes started, I withdrew my enrollment at another state institution and applied to Minot State. This decision was, in hindsight, completely life-changing.

For me, the standout division of study is the music division. I say this not with a music major’s bias, but because I truly, objectively believe it is true. The things that make our music department so special are our instructors, students, and opportunities.

The music faculty are widely accomplished in both the performance and education worlds. It is an honor to work in close proximity to people with such experience, talent, and knowledge. Every instructor is willing to help you with anything you need, whether it is music related or not. We have the opportunity to have both a personal and professional relationship with every one of our instructors. My voice instructor, Dr. Jennifer McQuade, is one of my biggest role models and best friends, and I know many of my friends in the department have a similar relationship with at least one of their instructors. All of our faculty are willing to stop and have a chat in the hallway, and you never pass one without a warm greeting of some sort that makes you feel welcome and at home.

Our students are a unique breed. I have never met a group of more involved and committed people in my life, and I am proud to call them my peers and friends. Our students often spend hours in class and rehearsal every day and still make time for practice, jobs, and homework. Although music majors don’t have much time for a social life, it doesn't really become a problem; the students in the department become your best friends and you eventually begin to view them as a family. There is always a group having a jam session, study group, or just hanging out. As a music student at Minot State, you can rest easy knowing that there will always be someone there if you need anything. It's like inheriting dozens of brothers, sisters, aunts, and uncles. Whether it be a personal or musical struggle, you will be able to find someone to talk to and help you.

The opportunities you have as a music student and Minot State University student are fantastic. There are many performing ensembles that you can get credit for: Concert Choir, Band, Jazz Band, MSU Singers, Minot Symphony Orchestra, and a variety of chamber music ensembles including string, brass, woodwind, and saxophone. In addition to these, Minot is home to a huge variety of other ensembles. The Minot Brass and Community Bands rehearse and put on several concerts throughout the year. The Pangea House is a place for musicians and music lovers to come together to enjoy and make music in a cool atmosphere. The Western Plains Opera Company puts on an opera each fall with participation from the community, faculty, music students, and they even bring in professionals to be a part of the production. An annual spring musical is being put into the schedule.

The music division is experiencing a sort of renaissance; there is a new energy pushing for changes, improvements, and overall betterment of the program. A musical theatre minor is in development, the Master's program is growing, and community and area outreach is increasing. Our students are out in the community teaching lessons to younger students, becoming more involved in the community music scene and raising awareness of the great music program we have to offer. Exciting things are happening, and I believe that any high school student looking at universities should want to be a part of those exciting things firsthand.

Minot State is the right choice for music students. The opportunities for growth as a musician and person in general are bountiful. I have made immense personal strides during my first year too, and I look forward to not only my own growth in the future, but the growth of the department and peers. The faculty are committed to seeing that the education received at Minot State is tailored to each student individually, and all levels are adequately challenged. You get what you put in, and it is well worth putting in a lot. If you are interested in checking out our department, I (or many of our other students) would be more than willing to chat further and answer any questions you have. Minot State is a fantastic option. Take it from me. It went from being my "fallback" plan to being the greatest thing in my life. I love Minot State more than I ever thought possible, and I strongly suggest that you come and see what all the fuss is about.