International Music Camp honored

Published: Nov. 23, 2022 at 7:12 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - Governor Doug Burgum announced Merton Utgaard, the founder of the International Music Camp, as this year’s recipient of North Dakota’s highest civilian award. He became a member of the Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame.

“We’ve gotten to see first-hand the impact that his selfless dedication and the dedication of his wife and kids to this camp, and to this vision and to this mission, has made on the people of North Dakota but also, the people of the world,” said Tim Baumann, camp director.

Since the camp started in 1956, more than 141,000 alumni from all over the world have been part of IMC. This year, they’re expecting 2,000 more. Half of the campers are returnees.

“One of the biggest reasons why people keep coming back to IMC is they find they’re people. They find people who are just as excited about band or musical theater,” says Christine Baumann, camp director.

The International Music Camp started as a program just for musicians, but now encompasses all the arts.

“Back in 1956, we started with just band and baton twirling, but now we have over 40 programs to choose from in the fine arts, so we’re really more of a fine arts camp than just a music camp,” says Christine Baumann.

Arnikka Schreier is one band member who spent several summers at IMC. She says it helped shape her into the musician she is today.

“I was a middle school, awkward clarinet player when I went in, and now, I’m a teacher in Minot Public Schools,” says Schreier.

Scholarships are available from IMC for students who need financial aid. Schreier recommends campers apply for assistance, because she says, “It’s worth it. It’s a really good experience.”

Registration for the 2023 Internation Music Camp is now open. Prior to May 1, the cost for the camp is $600. After that date, the price increases to $615.