Terri is a resident of Marquette with deep family roots in the area. She has had a life-long love of traditional music, especially American folk and Scandinavian traditional music. She grew up in Minnesota in the Twin City suburbs, and studied piano, guitar, and voice. She explored songwriting, composing, and arranging at a young age, and has written hundreds of songs as well as works for choirs, classical guitar, and piano.
She attended Augsburg University in Minneapolis and earned a Music Therapy degree, and followed that with a Master of Arts at United Theological Seminary in Gettysburg, PA. She worked as a full-time church musician for years, then achieved certification as a K-12 Vocal/General Music Educator.
She taught music for 17 years at the high school and middle school level, focusing on classroom guitar, classroom piano, music theory, vocal music, and music technology in suburban Baltimore, Maryland.
Terri is married to Curt Kowalski, her partner in a musical duo called Beechgrove & Blacksmith. They enjoy adventures of the hiking, kayaking, and birding kinds. She has four grown daughters and two step-daughters, a flock of grandkids, and an awesome little four-legged named Zumi. She is also a published poet, and an expert knitter and knitwear designer.
Noreen grew up in Marquette and has lived in Negaunee for decades. She's attended the Hiawatha Festival since very nearly the beginning. Festival regulars might recognize the big green bus that for years served as the Collins Family Camping area.
A graduate of NMU, she has previously worked for Pathways and the Marquette Board of Light and Power. She brings a raft of administrative expertise to her position, with strengths in a variety of computer skills and office organization.
She's been the Area Coordinator for the Festival Raffle for years, and through her efforts has channeled tens of thousands of dollars to Hiawatha. She also made the beautiful T-Shirt Quilt that serves as the backdrop to the Main Stage.
Noreen is married to Paul Collins, and has two adult children who grew up as Hiawatha kids - Helen and Emma. They both make the Hiawatha Festival a priority every summer. Helen has been a regular favorite at Artists in the Round, where her beautiful skills with henna have adorned many a hand, foot, or cheek! Noreen loves to cook and sew, and snuggling with her fluffy pal Smudge.