Celebrating Love with Generosity

Orchestral undergrads get support from fund grown out of a shared passion for music

maria skidmore with her violin

Norman Huver and Doris Dahl shared a loving 42-year relationship, filled with the enjoyment of music and other arts. So when Doris passed away in 2011, Norman decided to honor their time together by creating the Doris H. Dahl and Norman Huver Endowed Scholarship for Orchestra.

“We have enjoyed the music department at MSU for many years, and have made many friends who I am still in contact with to this day,” said Norman. “Now, with this scholarship, I have met so many hard-working students who need a little help and who are very appreciative.”

As a freshman, violin performance student Maria Skidmore was one of two 2021-22 recipients of the scholarship.

Maria grew up in a family devoted to music. She started violin at age 4, piano at age 7, and picked up guitar along the way. At 12, she added composition to the mix after meeting Oscar winner Howard Shore—the composer for The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit film trilogies.

 She asked him how he started composing, and he replied “I picked up a pencil and wrote notes on a page.”

“After that I was just inspired to do everything in music,” she said.

Although Maria attended Bath Schools, she dual enrolled at East Lansing High School, where she served as the principal chair for the Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra, and Encore Strings. She also was selected for the Michigan State Band and Orchestra Association’s All-State and Honors Orchestra and attended MSU’s Community Music School.

MSU was at the top of her list when it came time to apply to college.

She describes her days now as “go-go-go” between being a member of the MSU Symphony Orchestra and the Lab Orchestra—a small, select group that performs for conducting classes at MSU.

“MSU sets the bar high, and it’s stretched me with difficult repertoire,” she said. “I have to be in the zone and ready. Sometimes it can be intimidating to be around such good performers, but it helps me to be the best I can be.”

She admits she doesn’t know exactly where it will all lead yet, but she knows being a Spartan will help her shape a career in music.

“I was very thankful to receive the scholarship,” she said. “It’s wonderful to think that someone would be interested in investing in me as I grow my musical career and become the elite musician I want to be.”

LEARN MORE about support for the College of Music by contacting Senior Director of Development Ann-Marie Lindley at alindley@msu.edu or by calling (517) 353-9872.