Milt Friesen, M.A.

Instructor of Music
Satler Hall, Room 117

What programs do you teach in?

I am the founding director of Crosswind at Fresno Pacific University. Crosswind is a musical troupe which focuses on contemporary Christian music. Forty members strong and in its third year, it is comprised of 32 vocalists and an 8 member band.

I also teach Beginning and Basic Worship guitar class each spring and Music Appreciation in the fall.


M.A., Music Performance, emphasis in Choral Conducting, California State University, Fresno, California
B.F.A., Music Performance, emphasis in Voice, State University, New York, Purchase, New York

Share why you teach at FPU

Music is a language of the heart. As a language it can be broken down and categorized into its smallest components; it can be studied and mastered. Since it is from the heart it provides a vehicle to express the deepest yearnings of humanity. In a society whose values are constantly shifting, music allows us an opportunity to explore and discover values that do not change: discipline, mastery, culture, spirituality and aesthetics. The study of music allows students to discover a sense of purpose, fulfillment, beauty and satisfaction as their minds open to understand what their hearts are telling them. One of the fundamental aspects to learning music is to be exposed to music in all its forms. Contemporary, sacred, classical, popular and folk music all play a part in the music student's understanding and appreciation of music. The student who excels in musical performance will remain a life-long learner of the art form. The student who excels in musical understanding will remain an avid and life-long supporter of the arts.

Professional and Service Experience

I studied voice privately with local Fresno area teachers Dorothy Renzi and Harriett Gill. I completed my Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from the State University of New York in 1981. As part of my studies, I traveled to France where I had the privilege of singing for Gerard Souzay and Nadia Boulanger. I earned my master's degree in music from Fresno State University in 1988, where I was also the regional winner of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Award. I have had the privilege of performing with Pacific Palisades Concert Series in Los Angeles, the Fresno Philharmonic Orchestra, Sierra Chamber Opera, Donald Pippin's Pocket Opera in San Francisco, Harrisburg Civic Opera, Fresno Lyric Opera and the Tulare County Symphony.

I served in Christian music ministry for 25 years, conducting choirs and orchestras, presenting musicals and worship services as well as touring the West Coast.

In the summer of 2008, I successfully completed levels I & II of Somatic Voiceworksm The LoVetri Method at Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.

Professional Affiliations

In January of 2005, I was part of a team that planted Crossroads Community Church in Visalia, California. I served as the first president on the board of directors. Today, Crossroads is reaching nearly 1,200 people each week.

I am also a member of the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS).

Personal Experiences

In May of 2008, Crosswind toured the Pacific Northwest. This was five days of panic (where's my luggage? where's the bus? where's the school? where's the guitar player?), outrageous laughter, terrific food, amazing worship and substantial relationship building. It doesn't get much better than that!!

Recommended Resources

For more information on contemporary commercial music vocal pedagogy visit:

Other Information

I am the youngest son of Dietrich and Anne Friesen. Dietrich served as the first voice and choral instructor at Pacific Bible Institute, now known as Fresno Pacific University.