Inducted Saturday, September 25, 2004
Margaret Newton graduated from Moorhead High School in 1910. She earned a bachelor’s degree from the Fargo College and Conservatory and a master’s degree from McPhail School of Music in Minneapolis.
Newton worked as a teacher and music supervisor for the Moorhead Public Schools from 1915 to 1956, building a music education program that was admired and emulated in other Minnesota cities. Besides teaching, Newton produced and staged an operetta each year for 41 years until she retired. Her first operetta, “Pocahantas,” was presented on Dec. 20, 1917.
In addition to the elementary school music program and the annual or semiannual operettas, Newton organized various musical groups, both large and small. In 1925, she took the girls and boys glee clubs to Minneapolis where they received first place in statewide competition. In 1938, Newton began a madrigal club, which may be the forerunner of the Carolers, the costumed vocal ensemble at Moorhead High School. For 10 years the madrigal singers in their 17th century costumes performed in the community.
Newton was a member of the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association, serving as Vocal Vice President from 1944-46. She was also awarded a citation for community service from Hamline University.
Newton also worked as a vocal music education methods teacher at Concordia College from 1922 to 1964. She continued to work at Concordia for eight years following her retirement from the school district.
Margaret Newton died in 1971.