1969 - 2008
Brent Alexenko was a multi-talented musician who from his earliest years was deeply involved with music. A precocious student, he started lessons on piano with Sonja Bergstedt at age ten and began accompanying choirs while still in 7th grade. A singer and saxophonist, he participated in both choir and band all during his high school years. He was in his first year as choral director and teacher at the University of Wisconsin, Wausau, when he died unexpectedly at the age of 38.
Born in Killdeer, North Dakota, Alexenko was the oldest of three children born to Llewellyn and Sharon Dickhaut Alexenko. From his earliest years, he had a passionate interest in music and at age fourteen told his parents that his goal in life was to earn a doctorate in music.
Alexenko graduated from Dickinson State University in North Dakota with a B.A. in music, where he was active in all aspects of the music program and was involved in the summer theater programs. He then enrolled at North Dakota State University at Fargo, where he earned an M.Mus. Ed. and began work on a doctorate in choral conducting. While there, he developed and taught an online class in music history which enrolled as many as 300 students.
He was within weeks of completing his doctorate when he accepted the choral position at UW, Wausau, in 2007. At the time of his death he had just completed a successful first semester and would have started his second semester in a few days. It appeared he died as a result of a condition for which he had been receiving medical care.
Sources: Obituaries, The Fargo Forum, 20 January 2008 and Wausau Daily Herald, unknown date; Mid-America Outlook, April 2008.