Minnesota Regional LDS Music Training Conference


Improving Sabbath Worship Through Music

Minnesota Regional LDS Music Training Conference

April 16, 2016 | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints | Crystal, MN

On April 16, 2016, The Minnesota Mormon Chorale and its staff, together with the BYU Organ Department, offered a free music training conference especially geared toward those who have an LDS music calling. Workshops by clinicians covered topics such as: Conducting, Ward/Stake Choir, Recruiting, Repertoire, Organ training, Primary Music, Sacrament Hymns and Special Musical Numbers. The event included performances by the MMC and guest soloists. The conference concluded with a culminating concert featuring the Minnesota Mormon Chorale and the Northern Lights Chorale. There were 105 attendees for the organ training and 85 attendees for the other sacred music classes from the 8 stakes in Minnesota.

Huge thank you to the local coordinators, Barb Thibadeau and Laura Michels, for all the hard work they put into making this workshop happen!

1st picture: presenters and organizers at the joint BYU Organ Department/Minnesota Mormon Chorale Regional LDS Music Training Conference conducted April 16, 2016, at the MPLS Stake Center. Over 200 organists and other musicians attended from all eight of the Minnesota Stakes. The training sessions concluded with an impressive sacred music recital by BYU Presenter Seth Bott, local LDS artists, and the Mormon Minnesota Chorale, followed that evening by a delightful concert by the MMC and the Northern Lights Chorale. An enriching experience for all!

Pictured from left to right: Seth Bott (Organ Presenter: BYU Alum and doctoral candidate from Kansas University), Kymberly Stone (Organ Presenter: BYU Graduate Student and Organ Area Executive Assistant), Barb Thibaudeau (MMC Assistant Artistic Director), Erin Gray (MMC Artistic Director), Ceri Benson (Organ Presenter: BYU Alum), and Dr. Brent Rogers (Choral Conducting Presenter and Professor of Choral/Vocal Music at Dickinson State University). Not pictured: Laura Michels (MMC President/Director of Operations)

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2016 Minnesota Regional Organ Workshop Schedule

Meet the Organ Presenters:

ceri-bensonCeri Benson graduated from Brigham Young University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in piano and organ performance. She then continued on to complete a master’s degree in Organ Performance in 2012.


Seth Bott.jpegSeth Bott, native of Castle Dale, Utah, is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree in organ performance at the University of Kansas where he studies under James Higdon and Michael Bauer. He was appointed with a Graduate Teaching Assistantship where he teaches private lessons and works closely with the organ faculty to organize and execute organ department business. Before attending the University of Kansas, he received his Masters of Music and Bachelors of Music degrees in organ performance and pedagogy from Brigham Young University where he studied with Don Cook and Douglas Bush. Seth has an abundance of church playing experience in many denominations, and is currently serving as the organist and accompanist at First United Methodist Church in Lawrence, Kansas. His church playing experiences in the LDS church have afforded him to play for many large and small meetings, with several of them being televised. Seth is currently serving as a Guest Tabernacle Organist on Temple Square and participates in the daily organ recital series performed on the famous Mormon Tabernacle Organ. In 2009, he took first place in Region IX of the RCYO AGO organ competition for young organist allowing him to perform at the National AGO convention in Washington, D.C. in 2010. As a natural teacher, Seth loves to share his passion for music and the organ with others.

2013_05_16256Kymberly Stone is a graduate student finishing up her masters in organ performance at Brigham Young University. Her first introduction to the organ started at BYU in 2009 when she took Music 115: Basic Organ Skills from Don Cook. Her love of the organ blossomed during an evensong service in Oxford that next summer. She started the music program in 2010 and graduated Magna Cum Laude August 2013. As part of her graduate assistantship, Kymberly teaches Group Organ classes, Sightsinging and Dictation classes, as well as private carillon and organ lessons. Teaching LDS organ workshops is her passion! She has taught various workshops around Utah County (including the annual BYU Organ Workshop), as well as in Michigan, Missouri, Texas, California, Idaho, Arizona and Nevada.

In addition to teaching, Kymberly is an Associate Carillonneur at Brigham Young University and also assists in organ tuning and repair on campus. Kymberly currently serves as Ward and Stake Organist, and is an organist at Orem Community Church. She also serves as temple organist in the Provo Temple. She is a member of the American Guild of Organists (AGO), the Organ Historical Society (OHS) and the Guild of Carillonneurs in North America (GCNA). Kymberly is currently serving as Historian to the Utah Valley Chapter of the AGO and previously served as Student Coordinator.

Her newest service through the organ opportunity is her lifetime appointment as Guest Organist at the Tabernacle on Temple Square.


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