CSI: Conn-Selmer Institute, Schmitt Music

Schmitt Music teamed up with Conn-Selmer in 2014 to start a tradition that continues our long-standing support of music education.

Every summer a group of Schmitt Music Educational Representatives takes a busload of choir, orchestra, and band directors to an all-expenses-paid, three and half day professional development conference at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana.

The Conn-Selmer Institute (CSI) “equips current and future music educators with practical skills and relevant strategies that address current trends in music education. The curriculum is comprised of inspiring workshops and classes led by world-class clinicians. CSI is a must attend event for educators at any stage in their career.” (CSI website)

Apart from the workshops and classes, music educators, and future music educators, get the opportunity to spend quality time together. Of course, living and eating together creates plenty of time for small talk, but it also fosters many real relationships between people on the front lines of music advocacy. The sharing of ideas, and innovative concepts, that occurs naturally at CSI will be used in classrooms all around the world creating stronger music programs for years to come.

Even more, attendees get the chance to tour Conn-Selmer’s instrument factory in nearby Elkhart, Indiana. Observing the processes, and the attention to detail necessary, brings a whole new perspective to a truly great music program, or musical performance. Most noteworthy, the people who work there are, for the most part, lifelong instrument builders. A very admirable, and rewarding, profession I’m sure.

This summer, the tradition continued with these 35 directors from Schmitt Music’s territory:

• Nick Armstrong – Burnsville, MN
• Paul Benson – Burnsville, MN
• Patrick Bents – Rosemount, MN
• Kerri Bilben – Silver Bay, MN
• Amanda Brandon – Riverside, IA
• Jeremy Carvell – New Century Acad., MN
• Jeff Culp – Brooklyn Center, MN
• Debbie Fenlason – Wrenshall, MN
• Sharon Gunder – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Melisa Harms – St. Francis, MN
• Michelle Hoff – Rosemount, MN
• Jaime Holmstrom – Rush City, MN
• Rick Jensen – Sioux Falls, SD
• Bryan Johnson – Braham, MN
• Alison Keller – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Erick Knudson – Barnsville MN
• Bob Lienemann – Gross Catholic, NE
• Tara Michlitsch – Farmington, MN

• Darren Myers – Millard, NE
• JoAnn Orpen – Battle Lake, MN
• Aaron Paulson – Bertha Hewitt, MN
• Nelson Penserga – St. Michael, MN
• Andrew Peters – Ralston, NE
• Josh Peterson – Mesabi, MN
• Phillip Richardson – Mounds View, MN
• Jeff Schoening – Treynor, IA
• Alex Sharp – Skutt Catholic, NE
• Dan Sip – Sioux Falls Catholic, SD
• Dan Spandl – Sisseton, SD
• Leah Toppen – E. Carver County, MN
• Chiyo Trauernicht – Blair, Ne
• Michael Utell – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Janet Weaver – Bemidji, MN
• Jeff Weaver – Blackduck, MN
• Lisa Weniger – Wadena-Deer Creek, MN

• Nick Armstrong – Burnsville, MN
• Paul Benson – Burnsville, MN
• Patrick Bents – Rosemount, MN
• Kerri Bilben – Silver Bay, MN
• Amanda Brandon – Riverside, IA
• Jeremy Carvell – New Century Acad., MN
• Jeff Culp – Brooklyn Center, MN
• Debbie Fenlason – Wrenshall, MN
• Sharon Gunder – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Melisa Harms – St. Francis, MN
• Michelle Hoff – Rosemount, MN
• Jaime Holmstrom – Rush City, MN
• Rick Jensen – Sioux Falls, SD
• Bryan Johnson – Braham, MN
• Alison Keller – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Erick Knudson – Barnsville MN
• Bob Lienemann – Gross Catholic, NE
• Tara Michlitsch – Farmington, MN
• Darren Myers – Millard, NE
• JoAnn Orpen – Battle Lake, MN
• Aaron Paulson – Bertha Hewitt, MN
• Nelson Penserga – St. Michael, MN
• Andrew Peters – Ralston, NE
• Josh Peterson – Mesabi, MN
• Phillip Richardson – Mounds View, MN
• Jeff Schoening – Treynor, IA
• Alex Sharp – Skutt Catholic, NE
• Dan Sip – Sioux Falls Catholic, SD
• Dan Spandl – Sisseton, SD
• Leah Toppen – E. Carver County, MN
• Chiyo Trauernicht – Blair, Ne
• Michael Utell – S. Washington Cty, MN
• Janet Weaver – Bemidji, MN
• Jeff Weaver – Blackduck, MN
• Lisa Weniger – Wadena-Deer Creek, MN

We look forward to continuing this tradition for many years. Thank you, Conn-Selmer, for putting on such a wonderful conference year after year, and for helping us provide the opportunity to the music educators in our area!