Minot songwriter pays homage to family with ‘Todd’s Song’

Published: Feb. 24, 2023 at 11:23 PM CST
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MINOT, N.D. (KMOT) - Sometimes, a song can take us back to another time.

This coming weekend, a Minot choir will perform a piece written by one of its own.

The work is a tribute from the songwriter to his parents.

Todd Mathistad has been around music pretty much all his life.

When Todd won an auction for songwriters to have their piece put to music, he got to work, crafting a tribute to his parents, whom he credits with giving him and his siblings a good, albeit simple, life in rural McKenzie County.

“We were poor ‘cause we had a farm, but us kids never knew it because… when you have a full belly, you don’t think you’re poor at all,” said Todd.

Enter Dr. Emerson Eads, the director of choral activities at Minot State.

Eads was already friends with Todd, but working with him on his piece drew them closer.

“We got to know each other in a way that I certainly wasn’t expecting, and I don’t think he was expecting,” said Eads.

Eads enlisted the help of renowned opera performer David Cangelosi, who offered some enhancements, and with that, Todd’s Song was born.

The piece centers on the Mathistad family kitchen table, and the memories that table would see over the years.

“Most people don’t think that a table will talk, or hear, the table was the place where all our family gathered,” said Todd.

Todd will get the chance to relive these experiences with at least one sibling, as his brother Tim is coming in this weekend to perform the piece with Todd, and the rest of the Minot Chamber Chorale.

“I think it’s wonderful that that can be shared with a lot of people, especially in this form. I’m a big lover of choral music,” said Tim.

Eads said he’s grateful for the opportunity to help tell the story of the Mathistad family.

“I think that trust probably means the most to me,” said Eads.

Proving that music is truly a family affair.

The Minot Chamber Chorale will be performing Todd’s Song along with several other pieces, including the Sunrise Mass by Ola Gjello this Sunday, Feb. 26, at Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, at 3 p.m.

The performance is free to attend.

A goodwill offering will be collected to support the arts in Minot.

Video courtesy: Rick Heit / Rick Heit Photography

Photos courtesy: Todd Mathistad / Mathistad Family