By Sue Radloff
The Austin High School Music Hall of Fame is proud to announce its three newest members for 2022: John Madura, Lowell Pickett and Brenda Borchardt Ehrhardt.
The Music Hall of Fame was started in 2009 by Ken Jensen to honor people who have excelled in music and who have graduated from Austin High School. They must have achieved success in performance, education or in the music industry.
John Madura, class of 1965, earned his bachelor’s degree in music education from the University of Minnesota. He studied cello with Robert Jamison of the Minnesota Orchestra. As well as being a private cello teacher since 1967, he conducted the Mounds View Public School Orchestra for 44 years, the National Guard Band, the Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra, the Junior Philharmonic North and many others. He has performed with the Parliament String Quartet, the Minnehaha Reading Orchestra and is Principal Cellist of the Bethel Community Orchestra. His accolades include Minn. Music Educator of the Year, ASTA Orchestra Award and Teacher of the Year at the School of Strings and Orchestra of Minnesota. He is also a member of the University of Minnesota and the Austin High School Swim/Athletic Hall of Fame.
Lowell Pickett, Class of 1967, graduated from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. He is the founder of the nationally renowned Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis and has been responsible for programming its scene for 27 years. He has also produced shows with the Gutherie Theater, Walker Arts Center and Minnesota Public Radio. He served as program director for Minnesota Public Programming Corp and Minnesota Arts Commission. He has served as Artistic Director of the Musical Instrument Museum’s Music Theater in Phoenix, Arizona since 2011. MIM is a global museum, and its mission is to share the music of the world with its guests. Lowell created an intersection between museum galleries and the power of live musical performance. Lowell established the reputation of musical theater as the best 300-seat venue in the country.
Brenda Borchardt Ehrhardt, Class of 1973, attended Bemidji State University and graduated magna cum laude from Eastern Illinois University, with a BS in instrumental music. She was principal French horn and performed with a brass quintet in Bemidji, and performed in Wind Ensemble and Symphony in Illinois.
She has taught instrumental and vocal music in McCall, Idaho, and instrumental music in Sandy Oregon. She was Principal French Horn of the Mt. Hood Community Symphony.
She has taught elementary music in Giessen, Germany, Shoreline, Washington and Marysville, Washington. She received twice the Marysville School District Outstanding Educator Award, and once for Shoreline School District.
The three inductees will be honored at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 18 during dinner at the Hormel Historic Home and the Austin High School Spring Choir Concert in Knowlton Auditorium at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending the dinner should contact Sue Radloff at 507-437-4940. The deadline is May 1.