Dec 15, 2020

Dordt's Music Program Experiences Variety of Gifts

The Dordt University Music Program experiences a variety of gifts and talents

Dordt University’s Music Department has recently experienced a variety of gifts provided by friends of the institution—highlighting and acknowledging the momentum, talent, and leadership that is housed within the department. The department has 297 students participating in music in some way, whether participating in an ensemble, taking lessons, or enrolled in music courses. Each of these gifts support Dordt students in various ways as they seek to develop their musical talents to serve Christ. The department has especially seen growth in organ studies, with 17 students being taught organ this semester.

The department has recently been gifted two music collections. The Dr. Rudolf Zuiderveld Collection is a personal organ library that contains many treasures including Dutch hymnals, psalters, and compositions based on Genevan psalms. Dr. Zuiderveld taught organ at Dordt from 1972-75 and was involved in planning for Dordt’s Casavant organ during that time.

“We are extremely grateful for the gift of this comprehensive collection of organ music,” says Dr. Carrie Groenewold, the Joan Ringerwole chair of church music and organ studies. “This collection will enhance the study of the current students, giving them access to a broad collection of music, much of which reflects the Reformed tradition.”

A church music library consisting of textbooks such as books on hymnody, the history of sacred music, and essays on music in the church was also gifted to Dordt from Marilyn Mulder. The gift was inspired by Mulder’s excitement about the momentum and rejuvenation of church music at Dordt.

Both of these collections have joined a previous gift from Carol Kamp, who also provided Dordt with her organ music collection, currently used by Dordt students who play regularly in their churches.

“People are noticing Dordt’s kingdom impact through music,” says Lyle Huisman, director of development. “They are excited by what they are seeing and are getting behind it in big ways.”

Support of the department and music students has come in additional shapes and sizes. The gift of a brand-new, Yamaha B2 practice piano was provided by the estate of Terri Pawlosky.

“The new Yamaha piano, replacing a well-used instrument, provides piano students with satisfying and productive practice sessions by allowing greater dynamic sensitivity, evenness of touch, and control in their playing,” says Groenewold.

Further gifts have included new scholarships for music students such as two endowed Church Music scholarships for organists and pianists as well as the new Elsie Te Grotenhuis Church Music Scholarship. Scholarships such as these help to support students as they pursue their studies at Dordt. The average financial aid award is $29,200, and 98 percent of Dordt students receive financial aid.

“Donor-funded scholarship support ensures that Dordt remains competitive in enrolling and retaining students who desire Dordt’s Christ-centered educational experience,” says Huisman.

As an institution of higher education committed to the Reformed Christian perspective, Dordt University equips students, faculty, alumni, and the broader community to work toward Christ-centered renewal in all aspects of contemporary life. Dordt, located in Sioux Center, Iowa, is a comprehensive university named to the best college lists by The Wall Street Journal,, Washington Monthly, and Princeton Review.

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