Two Friends Bonded Together by Music and Minot

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Even though thousands of miles separate two friends, their bond continues through their love of music and many similarities.

Two men living in Fairbanks Alaska, working two different jobs — one as a sheet metal worker and the other as a contractor — never expected to cross paths.

But little did they know they would build a lifelong friendship through music and similarities.

“Emerson at the time was doing sheetrock work out at the commune and one day he came into my shop and I just sang for him…but I sang for him in that shop and something changed inside him,” said Thomas Gross, contractor in Alaska.

“Tom was the first guy to give me a music job. He at the time was the president of Opera Fairbanks and they needed a choir and I had a choir in Delta Junction, Alaska. They needed one for Madame Butterfly by Puccini,” said Emerson Eads, Director of Choral Activities at Minot High School.

The two grew a friendship and continued their passion in music together until Eads moved away to school, attending the University of Notre Dame.

Their friendship was put on halt until Gross received a call four years later that would shock both their worlds.

“I find out through the grape-vine, because I stay in touch with the people at our university, that’s my alma mater up at UAF, University of Alaska Fairbanks, and Doctor Celaire, Dean of Vocal Performance up there…She and I are dear friends, and she says Emerson got a job in North Dakota…I say, ‘No Way!” said Gross.

Gross said he began pushing for more information.

“I go, ‘Where she goes..Minot?’ I think it’s Minot. I go, ‘No kidding, I went to college there, I lived there for a large portion of my life.’ I mean I got here when I was two. I was raised here. My whole family lives here, we’ve been here,” said Gross.

“To find out that Minot is his hometown was pretty outrageous,” Eads said.

From Gross and Eads only meeting in Alaska through music, has now turned into a lifelong friendship full of many similarities.

Eads will be orchestrating Her Voice Resounds at Minot State Nov. 9. For more information: Click Here

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