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Minnesota State University, Mankato

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Music Education

Student Profiles

Page address: http://www.mnsu.edu/music/musiceducation/students.html

The success of any college program hinges just as much on the quality of the students as the quality of instruction. Here are some of the students you'll meet.



Elta Sparks

Elta Sparks

What is your main instrument? Voice, Mezzo-Soprano.

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? When my voice teacher told me I could easily have a career in music, which has been my dream since I was very young.

What has surprised you the most, here? How accomplished all of music professors are.  A few of them are even relatively famous!

Who is your all-time "music hero?" Elvis! He was a fantastic performer.


Elliott Bonner

Elliott Bonner

What is your main instrument? Tenor Sax.

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? Directing the Minnesota State Mankato Jazz Lab Band - this will propel my skills as a future director!

What has surprised you the most, here? How close-knit everyone in our music program has remained as we have grown over the past years. Hard work is easier when morale is good...

Who is your all-time "music hero?" Without a doubt, James Brown - ENERGY, emotion, and content!


Ben Wagner

Ben Wagner

What is your instrument? Sax. And several other woodwinds, too.

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? Playing "Play That Funky Music," arranged by Gordon Goodwin, at the 2011 Minnesota State Mankato Jazzfest... with Gordon sitting at the keyboard as our guest artist!

What has surprised you the most, here? The amount of freedom I have had to pursue my many different musical passions.

Who is your all-time "music hero?" Soprano saxophonist David Liebman, who taught me that music is discovering more about yourself.


Gretchen Poster

Gretchen Poster

What is your instrument? Clarinet.

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? Being in the Intercollegiate Honor Band during MMEA

What has surprised you the most, here? All the opportunities – ensembles, groups … and the amazing faculty who are always willing to help.

Who is your all-time "music hero?" My sister, Kelly. She's becoming a music educator, and inspired me to further succeed in music.


Shaina Sieh

Shaina Sieh

What is your instrument? Bassoon and voice

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? The trips with the Concert Choir and Orchestra concerts were the most rewarding and fulfilling.

What has surprised you the most, here? How willing the department is to include non-music majors like me. I've been allowed to perform in roles other schools would restrict to music majors or faculty. I truly appreciate it.

Who is your all-time "music hero?" Dr. Ann Pesavento at Gustavus Adolphus College. She was my teacher, mentor, inspiration and now, a true and dear friend.


Samantha McCune

Samantha McCune

What is your main instrument? Voice-Soprano.

What's the highlight of your Minnesota State Mankato experience, so far? Performing at the Collegiate Choral Festival.

What has surprised you the most, here? How much of a connection that you really do make with all of the professors!

Who is your all-time "music hero?" Dr. Dickau! :)