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Minnesota State College Southeast
A Technical & Community College
MSC Southeast

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Contact: Katryn Conlin, Communications Director

For Immediate Release

MSC Southeast names Brenda Stewart and Brian Stewart Red Wing's 2017 Outstanding Alumni of the Year

 Brenda and Brian StewartRed Wing, MN (May 15, 2017) -- In 1993, Brian Stewart came to Red Wing from a small town north of the Twin Cities to study electronic music technology and learn how to build guitars at Minnesota State College Southeast, then known as Red Wing/Winona Technical College. He earned an Associate of Applied Science in Electronic Music Technology in 1995 and a Diploma in String Instrument Repair in 1996.

Brenda Zill came from Reed, Michigan to study Band Instrument Repair in Red Wing, earning her diploma in 1998. Although they weren't in college at the same time, they met through mutual friends, got married, and have made their home in Red Wing ever since, where they are raising two daughters.

This year, Brenda and Brian Stewart were jointly named 2017 Outstanding Alumni of the Year at the Minnesota State College Southeast commencement ceremony on May 10 in Red Wing. The award recognizes personal accomplishment, service to the community, and support of the college.

Brenda has a successful career in Property Management at Target; she earned her second degree from the college in Supervisory Management in 2014. Brian worked for many years at Hobgoblin/Stoney End Harps. In 2015 he opened his own shop. He and Brenda now own Tree Strings in Red Wing. More than a musical instrument storefront, the business is becoming a regional destination for high quality repair work on guitars and amplifiers. 

Brenda volunteers as a Red Coat Ambassador for the Red Wing Area Chamber of Commerce, and serves as the president of the Red Wing Band Boosters. Brian's success in the field is an inspiration to the college's students, many of whom hope to start their own music businesses someday.

"Between them Brian and Brenda have four degrees from MSC Southeast! They are constant advocates for the college's musical instrument repair programs," said Katryn Conlin, the college's communications director, in nominating them for the award. "As proud alumni, Brian and Brenda can truly say that Minnesota State College Southeast brought them to Red Wing, and how glad they are that they have become part of the community."


About Minnesota State College Southeast

Minnesota State College Southeast is a two-year technical and community college that prepares students for a lifetime of learning by providing education for employment, skill enhancement, retraining, and transfer, to meet the needs of students and the community. The Winona campus opened in 1949, merging with the Red Wing campus in 1992 and updating its name to Minnesota State College Southeast in 2016 with the change of mission to offer both technical training and the associate of arts degree. The college's signature band instrument repair, violin repair, and guitar repair & building programs draw students from across the United States and around the world, many with advanced education and performance degrees. Minnesota State College Southeast is a member of Minnesota State. For more information, visit

© 2021 Minnesota State College Southeast

RED WING CAMPUS | 308 Pioneer Road | Red Wing, MN 55066
WINONA CAMPUS | 1250 Homer Road | Winona, MN 55987
COLLEGE PHONE | 507-453-2700 | 877-853-8324

Minnesota State College Southeast is an affirmative action/equal opportunity educator and employer. ADA accessible. MSC Southeast is committed to a policy of nondiscrimination in employment and education opportunity. No person shall be discriminated against in the terms and conditions of employment, personnel practices, or access to and participation in, programs, services, and activities with regard to race, sex, color, creed, religion, age, national origin, disability, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, or sexual orientation. In addition, discrimination in employment based on membership or activity in a local commission as defined by law is prohibited.


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Minnesota State College Southeast
A member of Minnesota State