1991 GRAND MARSHAL
Ruth Tangen-Barsness, piano teacher and life-long music enthusiast, has been named Grand Marshal of Alexandria's 1991 Vikingland Band Festival. Ruth was chosen for the honor because of her dedication to music education. She is best known in Alexandria as a piano teacher, having taught ever since opening a music studio upon moving to Alexandria in 1930. She has had three generations of piano students from some families. Ruth's philosophy is that every type of music can bring value and enjoyment to life. Although she helps her students develop performance skills, she also helps them develop a life-long appreciation for music. She has presented dozens of students in recital, and each spring she has students involved in district and state contests. Some of her students have advanced to the annual Honor Student Concert at Northrop Auditorium in Minneapolis. Outside of teaching, Ruth's involvement in music has included extensive activity in the church. At age 10, Ruth had her first experience as a church organist, and she later served as organist and Junior Choir director at First Lutheran Church for 22 years. She was also organist at Calvary Lutheran Church for 14 years. In 1979, she became the choir director at First Lutheran for 6 years. Ruth has also been an active member of the Euterpean Club. Ruth earned a bachelor's degree from the MacPhail School of Music in Minneapolis and continued with post- graduate work in piano pedagogy for three years at the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. She has been a member of the Minnesota Music Teacher's Association since 1934, and has served on the state board as chairperson of the Western District.