Each year we celebrate the achievements of our graduating seniors and other outstanding musicians in the School of Music with a recognition ceremony. While we’re not together in person, we very much wanted to honor our 2020 graduating seniors and outstanding students. We’ve made a set of videos that recognize our outstanding senior award winners, along with continuing student scholarship winners of memorial scholarships in choral ensembles and the music technology program. Finally, we recognize outstanding continuing student winners of the Ruth Carlson Scholarship. Congratulations to all the winners, and thank you to the faculty that voted on and help to select these awards!

Outstanding Service Award

Faith Geer

The Outstanding Service Award is voted on by the faculty of the School of Music to recognize the graduating senior who has best-demonstrated service to some combination of the school, profession, and fellow students. The 2020 winner of the Outstanding Service Award is Faith Geer. Faith is a music education major from Whitefish, Montana. She has worked in so many roles within the School, working for the office, the Spirit of the West, and as the librarian for our concert bands. Faith is incredibly cheerful and efficient at everything she does, and she is recognized by so many of her student colleagues as a friend and bedrock source of support. She has taken advantage of everything that the School of Music has to offer, and she will be an excellent teacher and supporter of students and colleagues as she pursues her professional teaching career. Congratulations, Faith!


Outstanding Musician Award

Seth Lowman

The Outstanding Musician Award is voted on by the faculty of the School of Music to recognize a graduating senior who has demonstrated musical abilities of the highest order. This year’s winner of the Outstanding Musician Award is Seth Lowman. Seth is a music technology major from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. Seth has excelled as a keyboardist with the One O’Clock Jazz Ensemble and the Royal We. He’s also found his way to the Pep Band, and as a soloist with the Spirit of the West. I think all of us in the School have been amazed at the joy and excitement that Seth brings to performance, and the passion he feels for music. We look forward to what the future holds for you, Seth, and to hear many more of your performances. Congratulations, Seth!


Outstaning Academic Achievement Award

Hannah Anderson

The Outstanding Academic Achievement Award goes to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average. This year, the Award goes to Hannah Anderson. Hannah came to MSU from Billings, Montana, and studies Music Education. During her time here she has been a member of the University Chorus, Chorale, Montanans, and the Jazz Workshop ensemble. Hannah has excelled at conducting, being accepted to the Northwest American Choral Directors Association Conducting Masterclass. While pursuing these performance and conducting opportunities, she has shone brightly in the classroom, earning a 3.95 GPA before her final semester grades have been reported. Hannah has been noted for her thoroughness, dedication, and creativity, as well as her encouragement of others in their academic work. All of us in the School of Music congratulate Hannah on her academic achievement as she makes her transition from excellent student to excellent teacher. Congratulations, Hannah!

Outstanding Music Education Student

Hannah Anderson

Hi everybody. I’m Kristin Harney and I’m here today to announce the winner of the Outstanding Music Education Student. This award is decided on by the entire School of Music faculty. We’re looking for the top student in the areas of academics, musicianship, and service. I am honored to announce this year‘s winner is Hannah Anderson. Hannah came to MSU from Billings and she studied voice and choir for all four years. She has been a valuable addition to our school and a strong leader, conducting the MSU Youth Chorale, serving as the president of the MSU chapter of NAfME, touring with the Montanans and Chorale, and coordinating a vocal festival. This spring, she was selected as the only student from Montana to participate in the Northwest ACDA Undergraduate Conducting Masterclass. She completed her student teaching at Bozeman High School, and she has accepted a teaching position as the Livingston choir director.  Congratulations, Hannah!

 Outstanding Bachelor of Arts in Music Student

Leah Running

Hello.  My name is Jon Harney and I am the faculty advisor for BA music students here in the school of music at MSU-Bozeman. I am here to present the Outstanding BA Student in Music Award Class of 2020 and the award this year goes to Miss Leah Running. Leah came to us all the way from Missoula, but we never held that against her in the school of music.  Leah was active in several school of music ensembles including both the cello ensemble and the MSU Symphony and I know that her conscientiousness and kindness will be missed here in the school of music but Leah, I want to wish you all the best in your future endeavors and a huge congratulations on your achievement!


Outstanding Music Technology Student

Spenser Potter

This year’s Outstanding Music Technology Student is December 2019 MSU Graduate, Spenser Potter. Originally from Salt Lake City, Utah, Spenser came to MSU as a Music Technology Major and Percussionist. While at MSU, Spenser performed with several MSU ensembles, the Bozeman Symphony Orchestra, as a percussionist in independent productions of the musicals Spring Awakening, Annie, and most recently Fun Home, as well as drumming for the local country sensation Jason Wickens. His other notable performances include performing with the MSU Wind Symphony in the Kennedy Center for the John Phillips Sousa Festival, opening for the Turnpike Troubadours with Jason Wickens, and every home football game with the MSU Spirit of the West Marching Band. As a Composer, Spencer’s music has been featured on concerts with several MSU ensembles and presented at national festivals such as the VU Festival in Park City, UTAH. Spencer’s Senior Creative Capstone “Overture of Dominion” which he composed, recorded, and produced is an EPIC Orchestral/Metal work. I recommend checking it out on Sound Cloud. (https://soundcloud.com/spenser-potterhttps://spot-music.com/) Spenser currently works as a performing musician, a music critic at metalutopia.com, and a freelance audio engineer.  Congratulations, Spenser! Well Deserved!


The Jeffery Korba Memorial Scholarship

Faith Taylor

Jeffery Korba was part of the first class majoring in Music Technology at MSU. Jeff was a percussionist, drummer, and a person who brought a positive vibe to everything he was involved in. In November of 2007, Jeff was involved in an automobile accident while traveling through Yellowstone National Park. He died on the scene while accompanied by one of his best friends. Jeff left behind an amazing and positive impact on those he met along life's journey. The Jeffery Korba Memorial Scholarship is awarded to a worthy undergraduate Music Technology student of at least sophomore standing. The recipient of this year’s Jeffery Korba Memorial Scholarship is Senior Music Technology Student, Faith Taylor


The Geir Stoner Memorial Scholarship

Jeremiah Warmbier and  Justen Carlson

The Geir Stoner Memorial Music Scholarship was established by his parents in loving memory of their son Geir Christian Stoner. Geir's love of music and drumming took him to Bozeman where he entered the MSU School of Music majoring in Music Technology and later Economics. While at MSU, Geir joined the marching band, worked for the sound company Jereco Studios and DJ jobs on the side. Geir was incredibly outgoing, curious about music and sound, dedicated to his work, and fiercely loyal. When there was a teachable moment, he was the first to explain how things worked or how to get things done. He worked hard at the things he was passionate about. Gier's grit and determination are qualities the Donors (Geir’s Parents) wish to support other music students. This is the first year The Geir Stoner Memorial Music Scholarship has been awarded. The recipients of this year’s Geir Stoner Memorial Music Scholarships are Music Technology Students Jeremiah Warmbier and Justen Carlson - Both exemplifying Geir’s Passion for Music and Sound and his Determination!


The Quinn Moody Memorial Scholarship

Andrew Cantley

The Quinn Moody Memorial Scholarship goes to a music student from a Montana high school entering their junior or senior year. Next year the award goes to Andrew Cantley, music education major from Great Falls. Andrew has made great strides this year in his applied studio. He served as Assistant Conductor for the MSU Youth Chorale, and he’s been a section leader in both Chorale and Montanans, helping prepare the Montanans for their performance ACDA Northwest this past March. Congratulations, Andrew


The Cydne Easton Family Scholarship

Gabriel Nohl

The Cynde Easton Family Scholarship was named after a student who tragically lost her life while studying at MSU. Singing was very important to Cynde . Being in Chorale was a big part of MSU experience. The award goes to a student who stands out in their efforts to help Chorale fulfill its mission: singing together with passion in pursuit of excellence. Every part of that statement is important. This student, with their kindness, helps Chorale establish a sense of community. With their energy and passion they inspire singers around them, and with the work ethic that they bring every day they help us in our pursuit of excellence. Next year the award goes to Gabriel Nohl. Gabe is a music education student from Livingtson. No surprise, Gabe is involved in our School of Music in a number of ways playing trumpet in the Spirit of the West and as a member of the One O’Clock Jazz Band. This past spring he was also in Opera Chorus. Gabe congratulations and thank you for all your excellent work at MSU!


The Ruth Carlson Scholarship

Returning: Lauren Vandette

Heidi Watkins, Kenzie Schenk and Rachel Huenink

Every year we recognize four outstanding continuing music majors with the Carlson Scholarship. The Carlson Scholarship was created by Ruth Carlson, who along with her husband ran a music store in Great Falls for many years. When she died, she left substantial gifts to Montana State University, the University of Montana, The Great Falls Symphony Association, and Great Falls College, to support outstanding musicians. The Carlson Scholarship takes into account musical ability, academic performance, and a personal statement by applicants. This year, we recognize one continuing student awardee and three 1-year awards. Rising senior Lauren Vandette, a music education major from Gig Harbor, Washington, continues her Carlson Scholarship. Congratulations, Lauren!

Our first new Carlson Scholarship awardee is Heidi Watkins. Heidi is a rising sophomore music education major from Bend, Oregon. Heidi plays trombone, studying with Dr. Jeannie Little, and she has been a member of the Wind Symphony, Symphony Orchestra, and University Chorus in her short time here at the School of Music. Heidi also was a high achiever in high school, entering MSU with 49 Advanced Placement credits. Congratulations, Heidi!

Our second new Carlson Scholarship awardee is Kenzie Schenk. Kenzie is from Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a rising sophomore in the music education program, studying flute with Professor Sue Makeever. Kenzie plays with the Wind Symphony and also composes. Like Heidi, Kenzie also came to MSU with a substantial number of AP credits. Congratulations, Kenzie!

Our third new Carlson Scholarship awardee is Rachel Huenink. Rachel is a rising sophomore music education major from Plains, Montana. Rachel studies piano with Professor Julie Gosswiller, and she has been a member of the University Chorus, University Band, and Spirit of the West. Rachel took advantage of the Early College program to earn credit through Flathead Valley Community College before entering MSU. Congratulations, Rachel!

Congratulations to all of our Carlson Scholarship winners! It is our tradition that Carlson winners perform on one of the first Music Major Seminars of the next Fall semester. It is our strongest hope that we will be meeting again in person next fall, and that we can enjoy the performances of all of our Carlson winners at that time.