3 to be inducted into the AHS Music Hall of Fame

The Austin High School Music Hall of Fame committee has announced that Denny Charnecki, Jeffrey S. Kelly and Michael Veldman will be inducted as this year’s class.

The new members will be introduced to the public at the Spring Choral Concert to be held in Knowlton Auditorium at 7 p.m. on May 24 following the banquet for members and their quests.

Recipients will be presented by Kenneth Jensen, founder of the Austin High School Music Hall of Fame. A plaque will be given to each inductee by Sue Radloff and a certificate for outstanding achievement in the field of music will be given by AHS Principal Katie Baskin.

Charnecki

Charnecki

Denny Charnecki

Charnecki is a 1967 graduate of Austin High School. He is a member of the Iowa Rock ‘n’ Roll Music Hall of Fame, The South Dakota Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame and the winner of the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame Lifetime Achievement Award. He has received the certificate of appreciation from the Minnesota Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

As a child, Charnecki listened to his father and uncle play guitar and sing. Denny started lessons at the age of 13 and by 15 was in a band. He was lucky enough to work with the Parrish Brothers and then opened for Dottie West. Life on the road found him playing as often as 25 days out of the month. He was found that playing music was the right choice for him.

He has worked with many people and groups that made rock ‘n’ roll what it is today including Chuch Berry, Elvis Presley’s band, Fabian, The Coasters, Herman Hermits, Chubby Checkers and many more.

 

Kelly

Kelly

Jeffrey S. Kelly

Kelly is a 1973 graduate of Austin High School. In 1977, he graduated from Luther College with a BA in music education. His Master of Arts in education came in 2000 from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.

Kelly is a member of and has been recognized by the American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Education Association, National Education Association, selected by performance by the Minnesota Music Educators Association, Director of Honor Choir for the Southeast Minnesota Conference, recipient of the Minnesota Educators Model High School Music Award for the Jefferson High School Music Program and was a part of the Bloomington Schools Music Steering Committee.

His professional experience includes being a singer and performer of the Miss Minnesota Pageant, Austin, keyboardist, vocalist and arranger with the U.S.O. Tour Band, Vocal Music Director for the Miss Minnesota Pageant in Austin, vocal music director for Thomas Jefferson High School in Bloomington, Minnesota, High School Show choir adjudicator and music department chair with Jefferson High School

Veldman

Veldman

 Michael Richard Veldman

Veldman is a 1981 graduate of Austin High School. Following high school he attended Austin Community College where he created the quartet City Rhythm which performed at area high schools to promote the music program and opportunities available at ACC.

He then attended Winona State University and graduated with a degree in elementary education in 1989. He received graduate certification as a gifted and talented instructor in 2013.

His accomplishment’s include being named Rotary Club of Austin Teacher of the year in 1998, National Citizenship Teacher of the Year from the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 2001, Veterans of Foreign Wars Minnesota Teacher of the Year in 2002, Austin Education Association Teacher of the Year in 2004 and listed as part of the Who’s Who Among American Teachers in 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006.

He has been male vocalist and dancer from 1980 to 1995 for the Miss Minnesota Scholarship Program, Performer in “Judy, Judy, Judy” in 1995, Relay for Life committee member for two years, created the first Michael Veldman and Friends concert in October 1997, opening performer of the O’Neill Brothers in Concert” in April of 2000, performed in “Starry, Starry Night” with Kaye Perry in June of 2005, “A Celtic Tribute to Maureen Cahill,” with Erin Schumacher and Kaye Perry, the Bissen Bash in 2006, “Forever Crooners,” with Brian Bawek in 2007 and was part of the CD “Spiritually Motivated,” for The Hormel Institute in 2013.

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