BLC Choir Director retires after 39 years
MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Bethany Lutheran College choir ends its tour on campus tonight.
The concert marks the final event for the choir director, who has been there for 39 years.
Music lovers packed Bethany’s Trinity chapel, enjoying the last choir concert directed by Dennis Marzolf -- marking the beginning of his retirement.
“There will be things that I will miss that I don’t even anticipate now, as anybody who is retired knows,” said Marzolf. “It’s a different, big gear shift. But, I’m in a happy place. It’s a good place...a really good place.”
Marzolf started his career at Bethany in the fall of 1984.
He’s been the choir director, and eventual head of the Music Department, for 39 years.
“I think the secret is [to] choose a place where you’re surrounded by people who support you,” reflected Marzolf.
The choir has been an important part of Bethany collegiate life since 1929.
It’s a spot where Marzolf finds joy; a joy that he teaches his students to take away.
“I think that’s a testimony to the power of the arts as it is to the the idea of the human spirit,” said Marzolf. “We need to be together with one another, making art.”
Even as students from years prior returned for Marzolf’s final concert, the reality was still hitting him.
“Of course, it’s bittersweet, but it’s mostly happy,” said Marzolf. “Yeah, I’m ready to move on to the next thing.”
That “next thing,” or course, are his retirement plans, which include staying in Mankato enjoying time with his family, and continuing to support Bethany.
However, the long-time music man is still taking requests.
“‘Oh, what are you gonna do when you retire,’” joked Marzolf. “That’s always the question, isn’t it? I’ll take advice from anybody!”
One thing is for sure: Marzolf plans to stay in Mankato with his family, and continue supporting Bethany.
With that, there’s still one last piece of advice that Marzold recommends everyone takes.
“Make the effort to come just once,” implored Marzold. “I think you’ll be converted to be a happy participant in what Bethany is doing.”
Cue the applause.
Copyright 2023 KEYC. All rights reserved.