Dr. Michael Kolstad: Music Department chair
January 9, 2012
Dr. Michael Kolstad serves as chair of the Music Department and professor of low brass at Evangel University. A 1988 graduate of Evangel, Kolstad earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in trombone performance from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During his tenure at Evangel, he has made significant contributions in the music field, not only at Evangel University but locally and nationally as well. Dr. Kolstad has performed extensively throughout North America and Europe. He has given numerous recitals and masterclasses, including presenting at the International Trombone Festival hosted at the State University of New York College at Potsdam. Dr. Kolstad and his wife, Paula, have two children. He is active in the community and his church, Central Assembly of God, where he serves as orchestra director.
You, your wife, brother, sister and brother-in-law are all graduates of Evangel. That’s quite a family legacy. What do you think it is about Evangel that gives it that strong connection for so many families?
Evangel is a world-class educational institution set in a Christian environment. In my case, I was the first to come to the campus. My experience was so positive that both my brother and sister wanted to experience the same thing. My sister and I met our future spouses at Evangel.
Did you ever envision yourself coming back to Evangel to teach and one day even being chair of the Music Department?
Often college friends and I would dream about coming back to Evangel to teach. As students, we understood what made Evangel so special. I never believed that it would happen. When the call came, I was stunned. It was a dream come true.
What stands out as your proudest professional accomplishment?
As a performer I have had the opportunity to perform in some exciting settings. I spent one summer performing with Ringling Brothers Barnum & Bailey Circus and the group Manheim Steamroller. A few years ago I had the opportunity to conduct the National Fine Arts Orchestra on the National Mall in Washington D.C. As I’ve gotten older, the satisfaction that I get seeing my students succeed is very gratifying. I have had students go on and graduate with doctorates. I have had other students go on to become incredible performers, teachers, music pastors and more. It is very gratifying to watch students excel in their professions.
What do you think sets the Evangel University Music Department apart from music programs at other universities?
The people. In addition to being world-class performers and teachers, our faculty and staff are Spirit-filled followers of Christ. They truly want to see all of our students succeed and will often go the extra mile to help. Also, we have some of the most incredible facilities in the United States. You can’t ask for any better. Finally, we have the highest national accreditation available for a Department of Music (NASM). That translates to excellence in our curriculum, our teachers and our students.
What do you enjoy most about working with Evangel University students?
Our students are the best. Not only are they incredibly talented, they are great to be around. Being fellow believers in Christ creates a kindred spirit between the faculty, staff and students. We all want to succeed, but more importantly, we want to help each other to succeed.
Give us a sneak peek at some of the exciting things ahead for the Music Department.
We have some very exciting programs on the horizon. We are very excited about our graduate degree programs in Music Education and Music Performance. Other things on the drawing board include a Women’s Chorus, Wind Ensemble, and expanding our current jazz studies program.
What advice do you have for prospective students?
Start the college selection process early. You want to have as many options as possible when it comes to choosing a college or university. This will also allow you to explore all the various financial aid options (scholarships, loans, etc.). I would also suggest that you look at the quality of the universities. Are they accredited? What are the graduation rates? Are the graduates of the school successful? Finally, pray and then pray some more for guidance.