Emily Ihde '19, Blaine, Minn.
Major/Minor: Music Performance/English

Why did you choose to come to Concordia for music?

Coming in as a music education major, I knew Concordia was known for its outstanding education program as well as its music program. What really sold me was the tour I took as a senior in high school. I remember meeting Dr. Haberman and my private instructor, Karin Wakefield, and the wholesomeness and realness I felt from them just felt like home. 

How did you come to choose French horn performance and English as your areas of study?

It took a long time for me to figure out which direction I wanted to take my life in. I started out as a music education major who loved playing horn and learning about music. I soon realized that it was not what I really wanted to be doing, so I chose to double major in multimedia journalism and music. I always loved writing and I thought telling stories about music for a living would be pretty cool! This past summer, I realized all I ever want to do is play my horn and I have always had a dream of opening my own private studio. I finally decided to follow my heart and go for a horn performance major and a minor in English because writing well is one of the greatest attributes anyone can have. 

How long have you been playing instruments?

I started my musical journey in fifth grade on alto saxophone because my dad is a saxophonist. I absolutely hated playing the instrument by eighth grade and almost quit band completely. In high school, my brother mentioned to my band director that I was interested in switching to horn because “it sounded pretty.” Fortunately, she let me switch right away at the beginning of my freshman year and I fell in love immediately. I’ve been hooked on the horn and classical music ever since. 

What are you involved in on and off campus?

I’ve written for The Concordian before and I used to keep a personal blog about jazz music in my free time. I also have a passion for music technology and had my own radio show with KORD Radio my freshman year. I’m really into the jazz music scene in Fargo, and I try to go to every gig I can. 

Where are some of your favorite off-campus hangouts?

My favorite place to do homework is the Red Raven in Fargo. Their coffee is incredible and I love the atmosphere. My favorite place to go out to eat with friends is Buffalo Wild Wings on college night. You can’t beat half-price wings! 

What opportunities have the music department opened for you?

There are too many to name! The music department can prepare you for almost anything music related, especially a performance major. I perform with faculty members, play in both a woodwind and brass quintet, premiere new music, play in unconventional spaces, tour with large ensembles, play in a pit setting, play movie scores, I get asked to play gigs in the community, and the list goes on and on! 

Why do you love performing with the orchestra and band?

Honestly, I could write this entire article about these two ensembles. They mean the world to me. I love the connection we have as performers, but more importantly as friends. I can’t begin to express how much I love my directors Dr. Sütterlin and Dr. Haberman, my fellow musicians, and the people like K Lo who make everything happen behind the scenes. The repertoire is always exciting to play and, when we perform it, it is truly magical because we are all working together and for each other. Everyone puts their heart out every single performance. 

What is your favorite thing about the Concordia Christmas Concert?

I love the first mass rehearsal when everything comes together for the first time. Hearing the beautiful colors of the orchestra mixing with the choir sends chills down my spine every time. I also really like the light show we get to see at the dress rehearsal! 

How does Concordia set you up to BREW (Become Responsibly Engaged in the World)?

I am so grateful that every student has to take two religion courses at Concordia. For me, BREWing means striving to understand what you don’t know. My religion courses gave me a deeper understanding of people, society, gender, and the world, and helped me become an even better person. 

What has been your best Concordia memory so far?

Definitely the candlelit concert in Albert Lea, Minn., during the most recent orchestra tour. Our devotional before the concert was heavy, and feeling the passion for music and love for one another in the room was indescribable. We played our hearts out that night, and I will never forget it for the rest of my life.  

Do you have a favorite professor and/or class?

I can’t choose just one, so it’s a tie between my inquiry seminar, “Adventure, Exploration and Risk,” with Scott Olsen and Dr. Lelwica’s religion course “Women in Religious History.” I’ve learned a lot about myself in both of these classes and had a lot of fun with the help of my two favorite professors. It’s hard to choose which one is my favorite because I love learning about women being empowered through their faith, but I also love adventure books and going on adventures!

Published November 2017