A Year of Challenge and Change

2020 will be remembered as a year that profoundly impacted how we live our daily lives…in  how we shopped, traveled, dined out, socialized, attended school, attended worship services, how we attended and supported live performances, how we compassionately responded to social justice issues, and how we navigated a toxic political environment.  In addition, accelerating challenges to and actual reductions in funding and elimination of teaching/conducting positions further eroded choral programs throughout the state.  Further, our ACDA-MN member conductors were presented with a very challenging and uncertain learning environment in which to deliver unproven methods of instruction to a weary and distanced student population.

Through all of this uncertainty and disruption, the mission of the American Choral Directors Association through its FMC Endowment Fund, remained laser focused on how best to support our colleagues to search out new ways and effective models to teach choral music during this pandemic.  Multiple Zoom workshops throughout the summer, and the launch of an engaging virtual State Conference platform, demonstrated unwavering commitment to support our professional colleagues and their students in unprecedented new ways.

It was also a year in which our organization experienced a profound reduction in program revenue due to many cancelled events related to COVID-19.  As a result, our ACDA-MN and FMC leadership teams worked together to develop a framework of increased financial support drawn from the Endowment Fund, to keep the supportive mission of the organization thriving at a crucial time for our members.

We are thankful to the hundreds and hundreds of donors over the past 24 years who have contributed to support the ongoing legacy of ensuring outstanding and life-changing choral music opportunities for our choral educators and their students.  We are honored to continue this trusted partnership with you in the years ahead.

Bruce W. Becker
Executive Director


  • Number of scholarships awarded:     508
  • Dollar amount awarded:         $293,808


Recent scholarship awards totaling $12,437 have included these outstanding recipients.  Congratulations!

2021 ACDA Virtual National Conference – Dallas TX

  • Noah Anderson, choral director at Red Rock Valley Public Schools
  • Brandon Berger, choral director at St. Michael Albertville High School
  • Huy Tran, (student), University of Minnesota-Morris

2021 Graduate Study

  • Matthew Abernathy – University of Minnesota (DMA)
  • Brandon Berger – California State University, Long Beach (MM)
  • Mary Kate Maney – University of St. Thomas (MA)
  • Hana Trump – North Dakota State University (MM)

2021 Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship

  • Erin Schmidt – Baylor University (MM)
  • Amelia Tesdahl – University of St. Thomas (MM)


We thank these individual and corporate donors who contributed to the FMC Endowment Fund during January-April, 2021.

  • Anonymous
  • Linda Armstrong — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Catherine Moran Bart — in honor of birthday of Anton Armstrong
  • Bruce W. & Paula M. Becker
    • in honor of 90th birthday of Robert Mix
    • in honor of 80th birthday of John Ferguson
    • in honor of birthdays of Anton Armstrong & Larry McCaghy
    • in memories of Dr. Olaf G. Malmin, Dr. Robert L. Peterson,     and Dr. Robert Scholz, and Steve Lonergan
    • sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Lyle & Dione Belling
    • in memory of Dr. Robert Scholz
    • in honor of birthday of Anton Armstrong
  • Lois K. Berens — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Brian and Paula Bergs — in memory of Dr. Olaf G. Malmin
  • Jimmie & Susan Caldwell — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Carol Carver — in honor of Sonia Esch
  • Marilyn Cooper — in honor of Brittany Gilje Murphy & Madeline Gilje
  • Dakota Street Design — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniverary
  • Stephanie Rindelaub Delorie — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Gordon & Rikka Estenson — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Connie Foot — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • David & Sandra Frauenshuh — sponsor, FMC 151st Annivesary
  • Sue Gilsdorf — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Jere Graetz — in memory of Lauretta P. Graetz
  • Stephen F. Griffin — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Eileen Grosland — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Stephen & Nancy Grundahl — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Jim & Jan Hanson — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • David & Carol Hubert
    • in memory of John Sether
    • sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • JNBA Financial Advisors — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Carolyn Jennings — in memory of Kenneth Jennings
  • Mark S. Johnson
  • Jennifer Krinke
  • Robert & Rosalie Moninger
  • Brent Nelson — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Sharon Olson — in memory of Dick Olson
  • Shaun Olson — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Popplers Music — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Paul & Abigail Pribbenow
  • Anthony Priest — in memory of Alice T. Larsen
  • Ruth Reetz — in memory of Alice T. Larsen
  • Adam Reinwald — sponsor, FMC 151st. Anniversary
  • Robert Sieving & Barbara Flooding — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Douglas Strandell — in memory of Dr. Robert Scholz
  • Michael & Carol Smith — in memory of Dr. Robert L. Peterson
  • Wendy Suoja — in honor of Dr. Axel Theimer
  • Dolly Talbert — sponsor, FMC 151st. Anniversary
  • Jerome Upton — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Lynne Waldeland — in memory of Alice T. Larsen
  • Doug & Nancy Watkins
  • Stanley & Mona Wold — sponsor, FMC 151st Anniversary
  • Michael & Donna Wolsted
  • Susan Zemlin — in memory of Dr. Olaf G. Malmin
  • Gary & Betty Zinter — in memory of Connie Nord, Jon Pederson, Al Zinter

Please check out the complete listing of last year’s donors and donor tributes in the 2020 FMC Annual Report currently posted on the ACDA-MN website.

Gifts to the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund

Acknowledge a mentor, colleague, relative or friend, by donating to the FMC Endowment Fund. Your donations, in ANY amount, are welcomed at ANY time.

Your gift to the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund supports choral music excellence in Minnesota today and in the future. ACDA of Minnesota is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) organization and all gifts are tax-deductible.

For more information or to make an on-line contribution by credit card, click:


Or mail your contribution to:

FMC Endowment Fund
Bruce W. Becker, ACDA-MN Executive Director
13288 Downey Trail
Apple Valley, MN  55124

We greatly appreciate your ongoing generosity and support.  Thank you!


ACDA-MN leadership overseeing the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund and the Alice T. Larsen Memorial Scholarship Fund, annually advises our investment management firm to adopt selective investment strategies that utilize socially conscious investment options that focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance criteria.

Members of the FMC Endowment Fund Committee

  • Rolf Anderson
  • Daniel Digre
  • Marie Spar Dymit
  • Rikka Estenson
  • Nancy Grundahl
  • Stephen Grundahl
  • Diane Heaney, ACDA-MN State President
  • Robin Hughes
  • Jon Kietzer
  • Melanie Kjellberg
  • Jennifer Krinke
  • Kathryn Larson
  • Karla Miller
  • Mark Nelson, Chair
  • Bruce Phelps, Vice Chair
  • Michael Walsh, Chair-Elect
  • Bruce W. Becker, Executive Director

FMC Endowment Fund Emeritus Members

  • Steven Albaugh
  • Linda M. Armstrong
  • Steven O. Boehlke
  • Lawrence Burnett
  • David Docter
  • Katherine G. Doepke
  • Richard Edstrom
  • A.B. Engen+
  • Geneva S. Eschweiler+
  • Murrae N. Freng+
  • Barbara A. Geier
  • Mary Kay Geston
  • Janice Gilbertson
  • Lauretta P. Graetz+
  • Curtis E. Hansen+
  • Thomas Wm. Hassig
  • Charles Hellie
  • Paula Holmberg
  • Robert C. “BJ” Johnson+
  • Wayne M. Kivell
  • Diana J. Leland
  • Howard C. Lerohl+
  • Carl H. Lipke
  • Larry McCaghy
  • Robert D. Mix
  • Ronald A. Nelson+
  • Robert L. Peterson+
  • Tim Peterson
  • Linda M. Smith
  • Roger H. Tenney
  • Axel Theimer
  • Michael Wolsted

FMC Advisory Board Members

  • Anton E. Armstrong
  • Philip Brunelle
  • Carol Barnett
  • Abbie Betinis
  • René Clausen
  • Jocelyn Hagen
  • Sigrid Johnson
  • Brian Newhouse
  • Stephen Paulus+
  • Jake Runestad
  • Kathy Saltzman Romey
  • Timothy C. Takach
  • Dale Warland

(+) In Remembrance