Bruce Piersol is NW Arts Advocate of the Year

Bruce Piersol is Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year

The Northwest Minnesota Arts Council is pleased to announce this year’s recipient for the Arts Advocate of the Year Award is Bruce Piersol of Red Lake Falls.

Bruce Piersol Arts Advocate of the Year

Piersol was the long-time school band director in Red Lake Falls and is now retired. His bands have marched on the street and football fields, as well as performed concert, jazz, and ensemble music in school and public settings. As a teacher, he was dedicated to connecting his students to the community as much as possible. He arranged for his students to play around town at the senior center, upstairs at the courthouse, and at community events, including Summerfest. 

Piersol continues to be involved in music in the area by playing in the University of Minnesota Crookston Community Band, coordinating and singing in a Red Lake Falls community choir, and organizing and playing in a brass quintet called Windblown

According to Northwest Minnesota Arts Council Board Chair Briana Ingraham, “Bruce brings music to people who otherwise might not be able to get out and enjoy it. He has done so much to ensure people of all ages are exposed to and enjoy music.” 

Red Lake Falls resident JoAnn Zutz explained, “Bruce has always been a promoter of the arts. He was instrumental in organizing, finding appropriate music, and then conducting a community choir to sing a Christmas or Easter cantata.”

In addition to teaching band, Piersol also taught photography at the high school. His wife Ann was the art teacher. When his students performed a band concert, the couple collaborated by putting up an art show next to it.

Our Arts Advocate of the Year award is given each year to recognize arts advocates within our seven-county region who stand out in terms of volunteerism in the arts. “Of the Year” award winners were nominated by area residents. This award comes with a cash award of $500.00. Funding for the Northwest Arts Advocate of the Year comes from the Minnesota State Legislature.