Professor Dordt received an Emmy nomination for music composition | Local ways of life


SIOUX CENTER, Iowa — When Onsby Rose was asked to write music for the Marine Band of Parris Island, South Carolina, he jumped at the chance.

It made sense since Rose was friends with bandleader Mark Pellon. He had also been a trombonist and bandleader with the US Marine Corps Bands for 11 years.

But Rose, now an associate professor of music at Dordt University, wanted her composition, “You Were There”, to recognize unsung frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I wrote it and flew to Beaufort, SC to work with a band on the music prep,” he explained. “The band recorded it as part of a video package, written by Victor Norris.”

Later, Rose was surprised that “You Were There” was nominated in the musical composition and arrangement category by the Southeast Emmy Awards.

A division of the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, the Southeast Emmy encompasses works made in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina.

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“I’ve been writing music professionally for several years,” Rose said. “Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that the music I wrote would be included in a project that could receive recognition like this.”

“Just being nominated is truly amazing,” he continued. “It’s up to God to see if it goes any further. Even if it doesn’t, being able to say I’m an Emmy-nominated songwriter is pretty cool.”

Although Rose was not present at the presentation of the Southeastern Emmys on June 18, he would have thanked the work of the frontline workers who kept people safe during the pandemic.

“When you think of frontline workers, it’s often healthcare providers or someone like that,” he said. “There were so many people who really took up the challenge but didn’t get recognition.”

Rose also thanks her colleagues and students from Dordt.

“You don’t have to be at a state university to get a top-notch education,” he said. “A small liberal arts college allows faculty to really get to know their students.”


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