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Music Hall of Fame

<b>James D. Ployhar
James D. Ployhar (VCSU class of 1949), is considered to be one of the most prolific writers in the field of music education. His credits have appeared in well over 750 music publications, his compositions and scores have aired on network TV, and his music is performed internationally in Europe and Asia.  His career as an educator covers 19 years of public school teaching, numerous clinics and workshops at the college and university level, and frequent appearances as clinician/conductor throughout the United States, Canada, Norway, and England.  Mr. Ployhar is the author of the Medalist Band Course; and the Contemporary Band Course, which has been translated into French and Norwegian.<b>R.Q. Johnson
For 22 years, R.Q. Johnson served as Director of Bands in the Department of Music at Valley City State University. During his tenure, numerous students passed through the department and went on to become successful music teachers throughout North Dakota and the region.  In addition, Johnson remains well-known across North Dakota for his many years of work in Medora, as a representative of the Medora Musical.<b>Carole Paulson Flatau
Carole Flatau's long and distinguished career in music has included positions as Director of Keyboard Publications for Columbia Pictures and as Music Editor at Belwin/CPP and Warner Brothers.  A charter member of the North Dakota Music Teachers Association, she served as president from 1972 to 1974.  Flatau has been recognized as the 2002 North Dakota Music Teachers Association Teacher of the Year and as a 2005 Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow.  She is a free-lance editor and composer and owns her own music publishing company, Noteworthy Publications.  Flatau graduated from Valley City Teachers College in 1960.<b>Ward Thomas (Tom) Stine
In Memoriam 2010</b>
Stine taught band and choir at Kathryn, ND and Larimore, ND before moving to Modesto, CA in 1969.  He taught band and orchestra for Mark Twain Jr. High School, where he was the Music Department Chair, and prepared the music curriculum for band, orchestra, and choir.  He  was the originating Choir and Band Director of the Beyer High School Music Department and served as the conductor of the summer concert band in the park for Stanislaus County (MoBand).  During his career Stine  conducted hundreds of concerts, including concerts given by the Valley City Community Band.  He recorded one album as a member of a rock band in the 60s called the NuBeats.  
<b>Gloria Peterson
In Memoriam 1995</b>
Gloria Peterson had a long and distinguished career in the field of music education, culminating with a 32-year term as a music professor at Valley City State University. Born and raised in Turtle Lake, ND, she earned music degrees from Concordia College and the University of North Dakota, teaching music for five years in the Hatton Public School along the way. In 1963, she was appointed Instructor of Music Education at VCSU, eventually reaching the rank of Associate Professor. She taught music education courses, music theory, ear-training, and supervised student teachers. She served as the Music Department chair at the university from 1986 until the time of her death in February 1995. In addition to her teaching duties, she organized the college Handbell Choir, coordinated annual Christmas madrigal dinners, oversaw production of performances of Handel's Messiah, and J. S. Bach's Magnificat in D. She also organized The Troubadours, a community male vocal ensemble that is still performing today.

In the words of a former student, she <b>Dr. Loren R. Waa 
Dr. Waa has taught band, chorus, and general music in public schools, and brass lessons and band at the collegiate level, including at Valley City State University.  Waa served as President of the North Dakota and Kentucky Music Educators Associations and Undergraduate Music Education Coordinator at the University of Louisville and Founder/Director of the Kentuckiana Music Institute.  He received the Albert Austin Harding Award from the University of Illinois, The Kentucky Music Educators Association Twelfth District College/University Teacher of the Year, the Kentucky Music Educators Association State College/University Teacher of the Year, the University of Louisville Award for Administrative Excellence, and the Kentucky Music Educators Association Distinguished Service Award. 
<b>Josephine Wright Rhoades
In Memoriam 2009</b>
Josephine Wright Rhoades, composer of VCSU's beloved Alma Mater, graduated from the Valley City Normal School in 1917. Rhoades served as Instructor of Piano; and as accompanist for the department and nearly every musical group in Valley City.  One of her compositions won the 1916 All North Dakota Song Contest.  A member of the Valley City Music Club and a church musician at Epworth United Methodist Church, she was the recipient of the community's Distinguished Service Award in 1953.  She was married to Louis D. Rhoades, who taught at VCSU from 1919-1961, and for whom the VCSU Rhoades Science Center was named.<b>Merton Utgaard
In Memoriam 2008</b>
Dr. Utgaard (VCSU class of 1940), an award-winning composer, was the founder of the International Music Camp in 1956.  The camp has since hosted over 100,000 students from over 70 countries and from every state in the union and province in Canada.  As a result, Utgaard became internationally known for his dedication to music education.  In 1984, he received the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award in recognition of service to the School Bands of America.  He served as marching band director for the University of Minnesota and as Director of Bands at the University of South Dakota, Ball State University, and Northern Illinois University.<b>Bill Lydell</b>

Bill remembers his first musical experience humming harmony to tunes on the radio. He began piano lessons with his father as teacher around age 6, then started with trumpet in 4th grade. At grade 7 he started playing trumpet in the high school band directed by the college band director. In 1948 Bill was fortunate as winner of a music contest sponsored by the New York Philharmonic and CBS. This trip to New York City enabled Bill to attend concerts, the opera, Broadway plays, and also to meet famous musicians, and especially conductor Leopold Stokowski. While there, he was offered a job by James Fawcett, head of the music department at CBS.

In college Bill switched to French horn in college band as he enjoyed the challenge. He continued to play trumpet for marching band and athletic events. He had sung in choir all through school. While in college, he played with Lloyd Nelson and the Campus Cadets all over the state - playing proms, balls, and barn dances. Bill graduated from Valley City with majors in Music Education and English.

After college, Bill served in the army and on discharge was offered a job by Hilton Hotels to be a pianist worldwide, but instead chose to begin his teaching career. He taught band and choir in Hoffman, Minnesota, for three years, then continued his education at the University of Michigan earning a Master's of Music degree in piano performance. 

The rest of Bill's 31-year teaching career began now in Minneapolis where he taught choirs, orchestra, music theory, voice lessons, directing many performances each year including shows based on Broadway plays. His choirs performed in concert both with the Minnesota Orchestra and with the University of Minnesota orchestra. In 1969 the choir was invited to perform at the Savonlinna, Finland, Opera Festival, which brought a tour of the 90-student choir to sing at special performances in each of the Scandinavian capital cities. This trip was followed two years later with an invitation to participate at a festival in Guildford, England, and was continued with performances in Holland, Belgium, and France. A highlight for the choirs was singing in the magnificent Cathedral of Chartres in France.

While teaching, Bill also served as church organist and choir director, as a music editor for Schmitt, Hall, McCreary, and as a judge for state high school music contests. After retiring, Bill's jazz band has played hundreds of engagements throughout the Twin Cities. For the last few years, Bill has been specializing in solo piano, and he currently volunteers at the Minneapolis Regional Veterans Hospital playing music for the patients and staff.Myron Sommerfeld attended Valley City State College and graduated in 1962. He would later go one to earn his Masters degree in Music Education from the University of North Dakota in 1973. For over 25 years he taught music in the state of North Dakota. He has been in the music business for 58 years and is still performing with his band “Myron Sommerfeld and His Music.” Sommerfeld writes and arranges every piece of music that his band performs. His many accomplishments include having his composition entitled, “Stepping Out” chosen as the theme song for National Ballroom Dance Week in 1992, and having his orchestra voted as “The Outstanding Band” by the National Ballroom & Entertainment Association. His band has had the privilege of playing for several Governors and has toured extensively throughout the Midwest region and even into Canada. John Reed spent over 25 years at Valley City State University as the choir director. Before coming to VCSU he taught in California and North Dakota and even spent five years at Valley City Junior-Senior High School. While at VCSU Reed directed the Concert Choir, University Singers, and taught voice. Reed also served as director of the VCSU Christmas Madrigal Dinner Concerts, the 1986 “Christmas Masterpieces” productions of Bach Magnificat and the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors” and the 1987 VCSU Choral Union presentation of Handel’s “Messiah.” Reed frequently served as an adjudicator, clinician, and massed choir director throughout North Dakota.