Lauretta Siderius attended Rocky Mountain College from 1952-1956 and graduated with a major in Music Education. When she arrived on campus, she could hardly have foreseen where life was going to take her during and after her time at RMC. Siderius was deeply influenced by one person in particular at the college: her music professor. “I especially enjoyed my voice teacher,” Siderius recalled, “she was actually an organist.” During her four years at RMC, Siderius met her husband and was married in Cattieux, France. Her husband had joined the Army and, after college, they spent several years stationed in France. With the strong music background she gained as an RMC student, Siderius was put in charge of music on the base and taught the children of Army personnel. She even
presented Christmas programs for the parents. The soldiers, along with their wives and children, “certainly appreciated the music that we had.” Siderns remembers “the warmth and the wonderful feeling[s]…the appreciation that everyone had for the music.”
It was no wonder Siderius was put in charge of music on the base. As an accomplished musician, proficient in several different instruments, she also accompanied two soloist singers and adjudicated a band. Not only that, she also played the organ at one of the churches and directed a choir. On top of all this, she also taught in the French school system. She was not under contract but says, “I taught third, fourth, and fifth grade, and then this principal gave me second graders to take.” Siderius said that one of the biggest differences between the U.S. and France were the cathedrals. She also noted that, “I had never lived in a place that had so much rain, everything grew.” After some years in France, Siderius and her husband returned to the U.S. where she taught privately in Kalispell, MT, lived on her farm, and raised four children.
Lauretta Siderius says that there is nothing she wishes to have done differently as an RMC student, and credits the college for providing her with the easily accessible knowledge she needed to have for teaching. Siderius later showed her appreciation to her former professor who had meant so much to her. “I remember writing back to my vocal teacher and saying that I certainly didn’t realize how important it was to have knowledge at my fingertips. I grasped that at Rocky Mountain College.”
Her advice to college students is, “Of course I enjoyed RMC so much, and my other activities. And yet, one thing that a person has to remember when they go to school, they are there to study and grasp as much as they can.”