AHS Music Hall of Fame to add three new members

Published 6:26 pm Friday, April 1, 2022

By Sue Radloff

The Austin High School Music Hall of Fame is proud to announce its newest three 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 the field of music and who are graduates of Austin High School. They must have achieved success in performance, education, or in the music industry.

John Madura

Lowell Pickett

Brenda Borchardt Erhardt

John Madura, class of 1965, received his BS degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota. He studied cello with Robert Jamison of the Minnesota Orchestra. Besides being a private cello instructor since 1967, he directed the Mounds View Public School Orchestra for 44 years, the National Guard Band, Greater Twin Cities Youth Orchestra, Junior Philharmonic North, and others. He has performed with the Parliament String Quartet, Minnehaha Reading Orchestra, and is principal cello with the Bethel Community Orchestra. His honors include Minn. Music Educator of the Year, ASTA Orchestra Award, and  Minnesota String and Orchestra Master School Teacher of the Year. He is also a member of the University of Minnesota and 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 known Dakota Jazz Club in Minneapolis, and has been responsible for programming its stage for 27 years. He has also produced shows with the Gutherie Theater, the Walker Arts Center, and Minnesota Public Radio. He was program director for Minnesota Public Programming Corp, and Minnesota Arts Commission. He has been artistic director of the Musical Instrument Museum’s Music Theater, in Phoenix, Arizona, since 2011. The MIM is a global museum, and its mission is to share the world’s music with guests. Lowell has created an intersection between the museum’s galleries and the power of live music performance. Lowell has established the music theater’s reputation 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 brass quintet at Bemidji, and played in Wind Ensemble and Symphony at Illinois.

She taught instrumental and vocal music in McCall, Idaho, and instrumental music in Sandy Oregon. She was principal French horn in the Mt. Hood Community Symphony.

She taught elementary music in Giessen, Germany, Shoreline, Washington, and Marysville, Washington. She twice received the  Marysville School District Outstanding Educator Award, and once for Shoreline School District.

The three inductees will be honored at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, May 18, at a dinner at the Hormel Historic Home and at the Austin High School Spring Choir Concert at Knowlton Auditorium at 7 p.m. Those interested in attending the dinner should contact Sue Radloff at 507-437-4940. Deadline is May 1.