Five VISTA Band members have been selected to participate in the Minnesota Music Educators Association All-State Program. The VISTA Band is a combined offering of Convent of the Visitation School and St. Thomas Academy. Selected band members include: Brock Carlson, Walker Lee and Tom Kane, all of St. Thomas Academy, and Grace Hyland and Aisling OSullivan, both of Visitation.
More than 2,000 students audition for the All-State performing groups: bands, choir, orchestra and jazz ensemble. The selection committee chooses more than 575 students to participate in the All-State summer camp experience, held at colleges and universities throughout Minnesota. Students also participate in Orchestra Hall concerts in conjunction with MMEA’s professional development conference.
Messersmith wins Father Ward business administator award
Jeanne Messersmith, business administrator at St. John’s Church of Little Canada, was this year’s winner of The Father Austin Ward Certificate of Appreciation. The Association of Parish Business Administrators presented the award to her on May 10.
The award is given each year to one business administrator in honor of Father Ward, who served as an administrator for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and was awarded a recognition certificate by the association before his death from cancer in 2003.
Franciscans honor Father Joncas with international award
Father Jan Michael Joncas, a professor at the University of St. Thomas, received the Franciscan International Award for his lifetime achievements on May 10. This was the 54th presentation of the award, which recognizes an individual or organization that demonstrates the ideals and values of St. Francis of Assisi. Past winners include the Rev. Billy Graham, Sister Helen Prejean, Archbishop Emeritus Harry Flynn, Habitat for Humanity and CaringBridge.
A talented musician and composer, Joncas’ “love for the liturgy and music are internationally known,” according to the Franciscan Retreats and Spirituality Center.
Hill-Murray School announces plans to build new space
Hill-Murray School in Maplewood announced that a new $2 million space to be named The Nicholas Center will be constructed to provide expanded learning services to students. Fully funded by a generous donation, the center will provide new classroom space for programs offered to students who are struggling. It is scheduled to be completed in the fall.