Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project: Interview with Ruth Hembre and Turi Hembre
Part 1


Description BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Ruth Mandsager Hembre is a native of Thor, Iowa and attended Eagle Grove public schools. As a child she studied piano and flute, participated in state music contests, accompanied school choirs and played piano and organ at church from about age 10. Ruth's organ study continued at St. Olaf College, where she also did some accompanying, and graduated with a B.A. in Nursing in 1961. Her nursing career included working several years as an RN at Fairview Hospital and at the Mound (MN) Medical Clinic. In 1962 Ruth married St. Olaf graduate, Jim Hembre, and ultimately moved to Plymouth, where Jim taught chemistry at Wayzata High School. After 37 years of teaching Jim went to work as a chemist for 3M. The Hembres have four children, all St. Olaf graduates - Turi, Erik, who has a PhD in Chemistry and is a research chemist for Eli Lilly, Leif, who has a PhD in Biology and is a professor of biology at Hamline, and Anna Lisa, an elementary teacher in Burnsville - and three grandchildren. Ruth's career in music developed in the late 1970s when she began teaching privately and participating in MMTA [Minnesota Music Teachers Association] and MMTF [Minneapolis Music Teachers' Forum]. She accompanied Suzuki students at Oakwood elementary for at least twelve years and participated in many district concerts. At the time of the interview she continued to participate in church choirs and church accompanying and served as organist for many weddings, funerals and other special events. Turi Hembre is the oldest of four children born to Jim and Ruth Hembre and a first grade teacher at Kimberly Lane Elementary School in Wayzata. A graduate of Wayzata High School, she was probably the only faculty member within the Wayzata Public School system to have participated throughout her school career in the district's string program. During the years she was involved in Wayzata strings Turi studied violin privately, attended the American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin, participated in The Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and studied piano - first with her mother and later with private teachers, one of whom was Gloria Chell. Turi is a graduate of St. Olaf College, where she continued her study of violin and played in the Chamber Orchestra, and she holds a Master's of Education degree from Washington University, St. Louis. As the parents of a young daughter and son she and her husband were contemplating a Suzuki start for the next generation. SUBJECTS DISCUSSED: Ruth and Turi discuss the importance and impact of the Wayzata string program in the life of their family. They emphasize the importance of the participating parents, give considerable information about the early years of the program and discuss the importance of the Suzuki philosophy in their lives. At that time of the interview Turi was teaching first graders who were entering the same string program she had participated in as a child so she talks about the special significance of her own experience in relationship to her students. Ruth discusses music education for the very young and both women express their hope that opportunities within the Wayzata system will exist for the next generation.
Quantity 1.5 hours sound cassette
30 pages transcript
Format Content Category: sound recordings
Content Category: text
Measurements 00:43:17 running time
Creation Interviewer: Weber, Lynne
Interviewee: Hembre, Ruth
Interviewee: Hembre, Turi
Made in Plymouth, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Subjects Made in Plymouth, Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States
Dates Creation: 02/03/2001
Holding Type Oral History - Interview
Identifiers OH 109
Accession Number AV2007.12.12
More Info MHS Library Catalog
Related Collections Oral History - Project, MHS Collection, project: 'Wayzata Elementary String Program Oral History Project'

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