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Melody Turnquist-Steed is an assistant professor of music at Bethany College. Her responsibilities include teaching organ and music theory, as well as serving as the chapel organist and coordinator of sacred music.
A native Iowan, Steed received her bachelor’s degree in organ performance from the University of Northern Iowa and her master’s from the University of Cincinnati. Steed received her doctorate degree from the University of Southern California. She has studied organ with Marilou Kratzenstein, Jesse Eschbach, Roberta Gary and Cherry Rhodes.
Prior to her appointment at Bethany, Steed served as the organist at the prestigious Westwood United Methodist Church where she presided at the Shaffer Memorial Organ.
An active recitalist, she has been a featured performer at regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists. In January 2006, she was a featured soloist for the National Public Radio program Pipe Dreams Live!, performing Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in A Minor, BWV 551.
Along with trumpeter Keith Benjamin, she performs in the trumpet/organ duo, Clarion. The duo has recorded two compact discs Clarion, New Music for Trumpet and Organ (1994), and New Vintage (2001). Steed has performed as an organ soloist and as a member of Clarion in both Hungary and Romania.
The Bethany College Department of Music has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music (NASM) since 1935. Music has played a central role in the life of Bethany College since its foundation in 1881. Many world renowned artists have traveled to Lindsborg to perform and teach.
Bethany Oratorio Society boasts one of the longest running annual performances of Handel’s Messiah and has been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, National Public Radio, and PBS. This rich tradition of musical excellence remains strong and vibrant to this very day.
At Bethany, music is for everyone, and students majoring in the sciences and humanities regularly benefit from the wide array of musical ensembles available, just as Bethany music majors benefit from pursuing their specialized studies within the context of a liberal arts environment.
Bethany music students study with many different career goals in mind. They gain the knowledge and experience to carry them successfully through graduate study and/or careers.