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Mankato Riverblenders History

AWARD OF HARMONY RECIPIENTS

Award of Harmony: given annually to an individual (non-barbershopper) who has contributed to harmony in our community.

1980

Elmer Fritz

1981

Betty Painter

1982

Dorothy Foster

1983

Fr. Robert Crosbie

1984

Roy B. Moore

1985

Ray Kraus

1986

Bunny Just

1987

Don Paap

1988

Sara McKay

1989

Harold Paul

1990

Allen Wortman

1991

Dagne Pearson

1992

Jean Sorenson

1993

Dr. Eillis Jones

1994

Chuck Pasek

1995

Robert Warrent

1996

Fred Lutz

1997

Lowell Schreyer

1998

Carol Grimmer

1999

Claire and Hazel Faust

2000

Martin Larson

2001

Bob Wirtz

2002

Jack McGowan

2003

Paulette Redman

2004

Angie Miller

2005

Sue Splinter

2006

Pamela Determan

2007

Denny & Karen Sandersfeld

2008

John Berg

2009

Truman Wood

2010 Pam DeMarce 2011 Win and Shirley Grundmeir
2012 Jerry and Carol Larson 2013 Jeanne Makela and Denny Wahlstrom
2014 Gretchen Etzell 2015

Scott Wojcik

2016 Barbara Frank*    
       

Each year the Riverblenders select at least one person, who we believe, brings harmony into our community.  The harmony generated by these individuals is often a result of their work in their chosen field of education, government, commerce, or through their volunteer service to others.  We are blessed with so many fine people in our community that it is often very difficult to select just one person, but this year our choice was unanimous.    

What if an archeologist came back to Mankato thousands of years from now?  What would they find?  Would they dig up an old cell phone or a microwave oven?  How about an old bottle of chewable vitamins or a Hostess Twinkie?  What would these things say about our culture or our humanity?  How would these artifacts describe the human spirit?   And what must an archeologist find that would best describe our inner beauty or our compassion for others – our relationship with our environment or feelings of inner worth?  The recipient of our Award of Harmony is someone who wants to make sure our community is producing a legacy that is rich with all that best describes our humanity and culture. 

* This year, we are again privileged to recognize a wonderful musician who is making beautiful music and creating exceptional harmony in our community.


This fine musician had her roots in the country.  She was one of nine children raised on the family farm near St. Peter and attended John Ireland Grade School.  It wasn’t long before she discovered the piano, sang in the choir, and played saxophone in the St. Peter High School band.  She was very active in all aspects of music and went on to complete her Bachelors of Music Education degree and Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from Minnesota State University.  She taught choral music for 28 years in San Antonio, Texas and retired from the Driscoll Middle School in May of 2008.  During her teaching career in Texas, she served as an officer in music organizations at the district, region, state and division levels, including Vice-President for the Texas Choral Directors Association.


Currently, she teaches music at John Ireland Catholic School in St. Peter.  She also leads the music programs at two churches – the Catholic Church of St. Paul in Nicollet and the Church of St. Peter – directing choirs and playing the organ.  The youth love her and the adults are moved by her inspirational leadership throughout the community.  She lives in Nicollet with her husband, Richard, and enjoys concerts, cooking, reading and spending time up north.  This wonderful lady has made a significant impact on our community and our children.

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