New Rockford Transcript - Official Newspaper of Eddy County since 1883

Dakota Datebook: Merton Utgaard's Band Camp


December 17, 2018

Dec. 19, 2018 — If you went to International Music Camp between 1956 and 1983, you most definitely remember the tall, silver-haired gentleman who ran the show. He was Merton Utgaard, the camp’s founder. He was born in Maddock in 1914, and today marks the anniversary of his death.

Experiencing Dr. Utgaard as a music conductor was at once terrifying and awe-inspiring. Tryouts were torture. Joe Alme, the camp’s present administrator, recalls summer, 1963: “My first three days at camp were the worst of my life. I sat last chair trombone that first year. I discovered how little I knew, b...

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