David Salmen, a native and current resident of Wessington Springs, South Dakota, holds a Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance from the University of Montevallo, Montevallo, Alabama, where he was a student of Dr. Betty Louise Lumby, FAGO. He has studied organ with Professor Paul Royer of South Dakota State University, and, Professor Betty Palmer Kirk at Oral Roberts University.
Following graduation from The University of Montevallo, Franklin Mitchell of the Reuter Organ Company, Lawrence, Kansas, employed David. While serving an apprenticeship with Reuter, David received training with emphasis in voicing,installation, and, maintenance of pipe organs. He then returned to South Dakota to represent Reuter in the mid-west. From 1981 to 2003, David was in part responsible for the success of over 120 new Reuter organs through sales, design, installation or tonal finishing. Working with Franklin Mitchell, David gained valuable experience as a musician in the art of tonal regulation. David was often responsible for the tonal regulation of many of Reuter’s premier instruments. Heinz Memorial Chapel, The University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, a three manual 72 rank instrument; Westminster Presbyterian Church, Oklahoma City, OK, a four manual 104 rank instrument; and, University Presbyterian Church, Seattle, WA, a four manual 94 rank instrument are examples.
David’s other interests include railroading and farming. He is a licensed steam locomotive and steam traction engineer and has served as the president for The Prairie Historical Society of Madison, South Dakota. David manages and operates Salmen Farms, a 3,000-acre grain operation, near Wessington Springs, South Dakota. He and his wife, Cheryl, have three children. David is a past lieutenant governor of Kiwanis International, and served as a director and board secretary for the Sanborn County Farmers Union Oil Company (Cenex). Recently, David was nominated to serve on the board of directors for the South Dakota State Rail Road Museum and the South Dakota Wheat Growers Cooperative.
Another major hobby of David’s is to collect and restore antique farm machinery. This is his 1909 Nichols & Shepard 25-85 steam traction engine in operation at Prairie Village, Madison, SD.