For 28 years, Connie Lindblom has promoted the joy of music to students of the Negaunee Public Schools. This year, the Marquette Choral Society is honoring Lindblom with the U.P. Choral Leadership Award for her continued accomplishments.
In addition to teaching chorus classes for middle and high schoolers, she has been instrumental in the creation of choral groups like the National Anthem Chorus and the Negaunee High School Chorale, both of which inspire students’ abilities and confidence.
“I like to try to provide a variety of programs and opportunities for them, and I work hard, and maybe they follow my example, and things just work out,” Lindblom said.
“She’s just helped me kind of be more comfortable with my voice and not be afraid to just sing out loud, no matter what,” added NHS Chorus student Marshall Nothelfer.
“She’s very encouraging with everything, actually,” said NHS Chorus student Dani Anderson. “I didn’t think I could sing at all. I was just never confident about it, and she gave me a big part, and now I’m confident more in every aspect of my life. I’m actually a big soccer player, and having her help me with my confidence, I actually went and tried out for NMU’s soccer team and wasn’t scared at all. Before, I probably wouldn’t have even gone because I would be too scared.”
Since she was a high school student, Lindblom has been involved in music. She has also been an important member of the Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council in Negaunee, contributing significantly to all aspects of the group’s mission. Lindblom began organizing musicals for students at Negaunee High School with the advent of the school’s newly remodeled auditorium in 2011.
“Well, I think the musicals really stretch the kids’ talents and really challenge them to step outside of their comfort zone, and from what they tell me, that spreads far beyond the music class,” Lindblom said.
“Over the past few years, she’s developed such a great drama program over at the high school,” Peninsula Arts Appreciation Council executive director Al Keefer said. “Whether we’re doing something like West Side Story or something like Grease, a lot of those kids that have come down from her music department come down not only knowing music, but they also have theater experience, they have good attitudes and they’ve got good work ethics, and that’s all from a direct influence from Connie.”
Her love of music and respect for education have influenced both her students and the community.
“I think what Connie adds that’s unique is she really cares about her students and shows them a lot of respect,” Keefer added. “In turn, then those students care and show her a lot of respect, and that adds a lot of enjoyment for everybody in that music program.”
“I think music is a part of the day that every student should really take advantage of,” Lindblom said. “It’s a great break, it’s a lot of fun, and you meet a lot of wonderful people. So, I would always suggest to students: get involved.”