• Alyson Heisler

Love at Minot State: Passion for music brings couple together in perfect harmony

Anthony Schreier and Arnikka Thompson in Norway.

Similar interests bring people together — which is how Arnikka Thompson and Anthony Schreier, two music education majors, found each other.

The two of them happened to be in the same classes during their freshman year and connected over Schreier’s need for a textbook.

“I was in 9 a.m. aural skills — here’s this lady that’s sitting across the room from me. I’m thinking she’s pretty cute, so I snuck my way over to talk to her,” he said. “I actually didn’t have the book for the reading in our first-year experience class that was right after that, so I emailed her and asked if I could borrow the book.”

Being in the same classes wasn’t the end of their similarities.

“I came to find out that she lived in the room directly below me in Dakota Hall,” Schreier added.

They proceeded to talk over email for two months before exchanging phone numbers.

“She still has them saved; she deletes all her other emails except she keeps those ones,” Schreier said.

They share a passion and talent for music but differ in their inbox organization.

“A clear inbox keeps the mind clear,” Thompson said.

“I have 1,500 unread emails, at least,” Schreier said.

It is stated that opposites attract, but these two were lucky enough to find each other to share their college experience together. They started dating in October of their freshman year.

On a Minot State Choir tour to Telemark, Norway in May 2019, Schreier decided it was time to propose.

While on a boat ride through the fjords, complete with live sea shanty singers, he requested their song, “Can’t Help Falling in Love” by Elvis Presley. The song began, the couple danced on the boat, and the performers were surprised when they turned to see him on one knee.

Lucky for Schreier, Thompson said yes.

“I was not expecting to find a fiancé within the first three months of college. We started dating in October and got engaged in May,” Thompson said. “It was very quick, and a lot of people have said we’ve gone too quick, but when you know, you know. I was expecting to find someone that’s musical and all that stuff, but it happened a lot quicker and a lot better than I was expecting.”

Now a year and a half into their engagement, they’ve began researching and planning for their wedding. They hope to get married in the summer of 2022 — after they’ve both walked at graduation together and Thompson finishes student teaching.

“By the time we’re married, we’ll have been engaged for three years. I’d say that can take the place of some of the dating time,” Thompson said. “If you told my past self that I would be engaged in the first year of college, I would not have believed you.”

With both of them being musically talented and pursuing music education as a career, it’s safe to assume that their special day will be centered around music.

“Music will be a large priority,” Thompson said.

Schreier is a member of the orchestra and has performed in string quartets for weddings of all types.

“I can see from my side as the musician, what the people want to hear, but now I’ll be on the other side of it, knowing the capabilities of the musicians, what type of music can be played, and what sounds nice,” he said.

Thompson has a plan, unsurprisingly with her organized personality, for where and when certain types of music will fit within their own wedding day.

“It’d be nice to have an organ playing in the church or during the ceremony. One of the music professors plays organ, as well as violin, and that could be playing when we’re walking down the aisle, and we could have a string quartet playing when we’re eating,” Thompson said. “It’s all based on how we’re going to incorporate the music.”

This year for Valentine’s Day, the couple will take advantage of the four-day weekend to visit family and check out possible wedding venues in Schreier’s hometown of Grand Forks.

Following the cancellation of many weddings due to the pandemic, the end of 2021 and into 2022 is expected to be a very busy wedding season.

“If we don’t get married in Grand Forks, we’re looking at possibly having the ceremony at MSU in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall,” Schreier said. “We could get the stage all dressed up nice. We haven’t solidified anything yet, but the ideas are floating around.”

Aptly so, the couple happened to pose for their first photo as a couple on the steps of Old Main. If their wedding ceremony does take place in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, they’ll have gone full circle together.

“During quarantine, I made a midnight buy online and I got that first photo printed on a canvas, then he ordered a paint by number of the photo when that was a whole craze, which he gave me for my birthday,” Thompson said. “Now I’ve got those two pictures on the wall and a spot waiting for a third one.”

No matter the location of their ceremony, a re-creation of that first photo will complete a trio of photos in their home someday. The memories they’ve made during their time together — including meeting at Minot State, music performances in Ann Nicole Nelson Hall, and the choir trip to Norway — will remain important for a long time.

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