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Music Helps Attract Students, Community To Iowa Lakes

By Staff | Feb 25, 2016

The Board of Trustees of Iowa Lakes Community College learned about the unique way that the Vocal and Instrumental Music programs at Iowa Lakes invite students and members of area communities to Iowa Lakes during the monthly trustees meeting on Feb. 16 in Estherville. Students in the college’s musica program are attracted to Iowa Lakes through a variety of classes, performances, lessons, ensembles, bands, choirs, recitals, coffee houses and musicals. Those same things entice others who enjoy participating in music. A prime example is this spring’s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. A mixture of ages and talents are needed for those performances and it’s a great way to mix community members and college students to put on a great show.

Professors Carol Ayres and Brett Fuelberth spoke to the Trustees about the successes many students have had and invited students to share their individual stories.

“I chose Iowa Lakes so I could be in athletics and music,” said Lauren Hein of Andover, Minn.

Kevin Davis of Ossian chose the college “for the music and to run cross country.”

Eli Niebuhr is from LeMars. “I chose Iowa Lakes to complete my AA degree for Business and Music Education.”

Since Tayler Smith’s mother works at Iowa Lakes, the college “has been a household name since I was little.” Smith is from Storm Lake. He already has his AA degree and is pursuing an Associate in Science degree now.

Katherine Harrison is from Swea City and she “chose Iowa Lakes because the music program is amazing, the class sizes are small, and it was close to home.”

Ringsted native, Colten Christensen, “chose Iowa Lakes because it is very affordable and the music program is great. Also, I can live at home to save money for when I transfer to a university.” He would like to become a high school music teacher.

The music programs have seven music scholarships to assist students and encourage further study in music. Additionally, both Ayres and Fuelberth are active in their communities when they’re not leading students in performances.

In other business, the Trustees thanked the voters in the area for the support of the recent bond referendum which received over 60 percent approval of voters.

A report from Delaine Hiney, Executive Director of Facilities Management, addressed the planned improvements to the drainage at the Emmetsburg campus, which will be finalized once the bond vote canvassing is complete.

Hiney also reported on progress with the Chava Prototype wind turbine located at the college farm laboratory near Emmetsburg. Chava should be back on site in late March or early April to complete the project and start the certification process.

In other business, Jolene Rogers, Executive Director of Community and Business Relations, briefed the trustees on a gift donation from Polaris Industries of motors and equipment valued in excess of $80,000 for the Power Sports and Power Equipment Technology program. The donation was accepted with appreciation by the Trustee. Rogers also explained progress on a preliminary 260E bond issue for this Spring valued at nearly $1 million in training funds which will be available to companies expanding their workforce in the Iowa Lakes Region. Also, several 260F training projects this year represent growth at companies in all counties of the Iowa Lakes Region, according to Rogers.

In other news, Rogers informed the Trustees about the Laker Athletic Hall of Fame induction weekend, Feb. 19 and also noted that more than $1 million was awarded in scholarships during the current academic year.

The Trustees shared reports on state and local matters which affect community colleges before adjourning.

A special board meeting of the Trustees has been scheduled for Thursday, March 3 in the Conference Room at the college’s Administration Building in Estherville.

The next regular meeting of the Iowa Lakes Board of Trustees is scheduled for Tuesday, March 15, at the SERT Center on the Estherville campus of Iowa Lakes.