September 14, 1936 ~ December 20, 2011
Edward R. Christianson, 75, was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota and was raised in Pembina, North Dakota. He was blessed to be in a musical family his entire life. He graduated from the University of North Dakota and after a brief stint on the road with a traveling dance band he became a high school band director. He found pleasure in hearing many talented students perform.
He married MaryJo DeMers in 1961 in Greeley, Colorado. She had been an elementary school teacher and then became a stay-at -home Mother, raising five children. She was the bedrock of the family. Later she was hired by NDSU as a cleaner and then as a clerk.
Ed was privileged to play countless musical engagements throughout his life playing tuba, valve trombone, electric bass and piano in combos and jazz and concert bands. Many were artistically gratifying and inspiring. Some were not so hot.
He completed his master's degree at the University of Northern Colorado and his doctorate at UND. Both were in education.
Most summers he attended workshops to study conducting and band literature.
Ed taught 38 years of high school band. He conducted the adult band at the International Music Camp for 20 years and headed the Jazz Week Session there for several years. He was a short-term adjunct band director at NDSU, MSUM and Concordia.
He enjoyed composing and arranging music. He founded the FM Kicks Band and recently conducted the FM Golden Notes New Horizons Band, an adult organization.
One of his greatest sources of joy was observing the quality of lives his children were living and hearing the beauty of their musical performance. He loved the fact that his offspring, who chose to do so, found beautiful partners.
He is survived by his wife, MaryJo; sisters, Judy Christianson, Susan Christianson, and Sally (Bob) Nordlie; children, Ellen Christianson (Eric Staffeldt), Mike (Cyndi) Christianson, Kate (Scott) Kluegel, Amy (Tim) Johnson, and Tom Christianson; grandchildren, Kristi, Joe, Kevin, Michelle, Jamie, Aaron, Kelly, Elizabeth, and Zach.
His parents, Mae and Milton, and his brother, Leonard preceded him in death.
Following the funeral, a gathering of musicians would be deeply appreciated. Those who play instruments are asked to bring them and perform. There will be concert band compositions and then an open jam session of jazz. Refreshments will be served.