Martan Gregoire ’26 | Moorhead
Major: Vocal Music Education

Please tell us about yourself.

I grew up in Moorhead and went to Moorhead High School. I am a sophomore pursuing a Bachelor of Music degree in vocal music education. My career goal is to be a high school or middle school choir teacher. When I am not in class or studying, I love singing, playing piano, reading, hanging out with my friends, and shopping.

As someone who is from the Fargo-Moorhead area, what inspired you to stay and pursue your education at Concordia College?

Concordia was originally on my “absolutely not” list. I thought that I wanted to get out of the Fargo-Moorhead area because there was no way that Concordia was going to have everything that I wanted out of my college experience. However, when I toured Concordia, I immediately felt comfortable and knew that I really liked Concordia. Later, I came to sit in on a rehearsal of The Concordia Choir with Dr. Culloton, and I loved the experience so much. Dr. Culloton made rehearsal so much fun and, after watching so many people who were excited about learning music and dedicated to making beautiful music, I couldn’t help but want to come to Concordia and be in the choir. Then, I came to the Concordia Christmas Concerts during my senior year and cried through the whole thing. I knew that I was going to come to Concordia to pursue my passion for music.

How did you decide on your area of study?

I always knew that I wanted to be a teacher, but I was never sure what subject I wanted to teach. I did well in school and thought I would enjoy teaching any subject that wasn’t science. During my senior year, I signed up to peer tutor two other choir classes in my high school and one sixth-grade choir class at Horizon Middle School. These were incredibly valuable to me, and I loved the experience. One day, my high school choir director sat me down in her office and told me that I would be a great choir teacher and, after that, I decided to apply to Concordia and study vocal music education.

Do you have a favorite course related to music education? If so, why is it your favorite?

While I haven’t taken the course yet, the class I am most excited to take for my vocal music education major is Teaching Choral Music. This is the class where we learn about all of the different techniques that choral teachers use to teach music, from why we do warm-ups to teaching your students a song to what happens when no one will listen to you as the teacher. I can’t wait for all of my musical training and education courses to culminate in this class. Additionally, Teaching Choral Music has a classroom component where we will get to go to a high school choir classroom and observe, teach lessons, and get feedback from current teachers in the area. I am so excited to get placed in a music classroom and put all of my coursework to use!

Do you have a favorite vocal music education professor? If so, why?

Dr. Culloton and Dr. Kemper are both amazing professors. They truly care about every student they interact with, both in their academic career and as people. I have had countless conversations with each of them where I can tell that they truly want to hear what I have to say, and it is so great to know that they care so much about my academics, musical passions, and my career after Concordia.

What is your favorite part of taking classes in the Hvidsten Hall of Music?

My favorite part is the bond between the students and faculty in Hvidsten. Every time a professor walks past us in the atrium of Hvidsten, they are able to greet everyone by name and ask us how we are doing because they truly care that much to get to know all of us. I will not have a class with every professor in the music building, but they still make the effort to get to know me. It feels great knowing that I have so many people supporting me in my studies.

What campus activities are you involved in, how did you get involved, and what aspects do you enjoy the most?

I sing in The Concordia Choir, participate in a chamber choir called Tactus, am part of the Concordia chapter of the American Choral Directors Association student organization, work as a student ambassador in the Admission Office, and this year I was a First-Year Transition (FYT) mentor for the Orientation team.

I got involved by finding groups that are connected to my passions. I love singing, and The Concordia Choir and Tactus fill that need for me. I love learning about teaching music and teaching choir, and that’s what ACDA does for me. I love to teach people, and being a FYT mentor this year was so much fun because I got to connect with the incoming class of students and help them transition to college in the best way that I could. I love meeting new people and connecting with them, and being a student ambassador is the best way for me to do that and get more great students to come to Concordia.

What is your favorite part about Concordia? 

My favorite thing about Concordia is that we are an “and” school. Our faculty, coaches, counselors, and staff want us to learn as much as we can AND be as involved as we can. The faculty want our students to be able to sing in choir AND participate in soccer. They want us to be in student organizations AND do some service work during our time here. Everyone on campus is involved because our advisors and faculty help us make it work in our schedule so we can get the most out of our college experience as possible.

In one word, how would you describe your Cobber experience so far? 

My Cobber experience can be described through the word “community.” I love walking around campus and being able to say hi to everyone I walk past because I have some relationship with them, whether that’s because we have a class together, sing in an ensemble together, or we just had one random funny shared experience.

How does Concordia allow you to pursue your passions? 

Concordia allows me to pursue my passions by giving me the opportunities to get real-world experience in the things I am passionate about. I am able to be in a classroom observing, helping, and teaching students because that is what I am passionate about. If I was passionate about studying abroad and expanding my horizons in that way, Concordia has many resources and opportunities for students to do that.

Everyone on Concordia’s campus is here to help us succeed, and the support from that is irreplaceable.”

What do you enjoy about the Fargo-Moorhead community and in what ways are you active outside of Concordia?

I love all that there is to do in the Fargo-Moorhead community. There are so many fun restaurants to try, places to go, and things to do. When I am not busy at Concordia, I have helped coach and judge for the Moorhead speech team, and I have been involved in Trollwood Performing Arts School for several years.

What advice would you give to a high school student who is considering Concordia?

COME VISIT CAMPUS! My tour was invaluable to my decision to come to Concordia because I was able to meet with faculty who would be teaching my classes and see what my experience was going to be like before I even had to apply. They welcomed me with open arms and showed me that Concordia was going to be the best option for my future.

Published January 2024