Bridget Sweet

University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

Tuesday, August 6: 12:00-12:50 PM

Session One:  Thinking Outside the Voice Box:  Adolescent Female Voice Change

The purpose of this session is to bring attention to the adolescent female changing voice. This session aims to empower adolescent female singers and validate their voice change experiences at a very pivotal point in their lives; to reinforce that females, too, can persevere through this challenging developmental process; and to stress the importance of the choral teacher’s role in navigating this experience for female choristers. Discussion will include an anatomical and physiological dialogue about vocal function and voice change, a brief overview of research and publications focused on female voice change, psychological and emotional ramifications of voice change for female singers, and strategies for working with female singers experiencing voice change.

Sponsored By

Tuesday, August 6: 1:50-2:40 PM

Session Two:  Thinking Outside the Voice Box:  Adolescent Male Voice Change

Dr. Sweet continues by stating the purpose of this session is to promote a holistic approach to working with adolescent male changing voice singers, with voice change as one aspect of adolescence.  Discussion will pertain to topics of vocal anatomy and physiology, overall physical growth and coordination, hormones as an essential part of adolescent development into adulthood, the adolescent brain (which influences hearing development as it rewires in preparation for adulthood), and emotion.  Conversation will also address upon how our popular knowledge, understanding and misunderstanding of male voice change is largely perpetuated by mainstream media. Strategies for working with male singers experiencing voice change will be woven throughout the session.

Sponsored By

Pamela Burns

First Presbyterian Church
Fargo, ND

Tuesday, August 6: 4:20-5:10 PM

Developing Healthy, Beautiful Tone Production in the Children’s Choir

This session affirms that healthy, beautiful tone production is attainable in the children’s choir by applying scientific knowledge as we determine developmentally appropriate pedagogy.  Together, we will explore three primary principals about teaching children to sing with healthy, beautiful tone production:

  1. An understanding of the child voice and how it differs from the mature voice;
  2. The use of developmentally appropriate pedagogical objectives and techniques; and
  3. The critical selection of repertoire.

These same principles also apply to treble voices in the secondary choirs.

Sponsored By

Donald Krubsack

Wayzata High School
Plymouth, MN

Tuesday, August 6: 4:20-5:10 PM

You Hear What You Listen For:
Inspiring learning and elevating performance by teaching the art of listening

Too often young musicians sing, hearing only themselves, while virtually unaware of the dimension of the sonic community surrounding them. How can we transform their listening skills to inform their own performance? This session will heighten your own listening awareness, and offer strategies for teaching your musicians how to listen. Methods used include directed listening with chant, overtones, and multiple part songs.

Sponsored By

Paula Holmberg

Bethel University
Arden Hill, MN

Diane Heaney

Albert Lea High School
Albert Lea, MN

Wednesday, August 8: 5:00-5:15 PM

Welcome!  Let’s Dialogue!

You’ve asked and we’ve listened! Hearing much feedback regarding our sessions last Summer, we’ve included a session to encourage “keeping the dialogue in Dialogue”. Meet some new friends, hear about one another’s interests and concerns, gather insight and strategies from other teachers/directors. State leaders Paula and Diane will kick-off this session that will be certain to generate ideas for further discussions during the week.

Bridget Sweet

University of Illinois
Urbana, IL

Wednesday, August 7: 2:00-2:50 PM

Session 3: Stretch to Music: Benefits of Movement for Choir Students

Strategically planned movement activities in any choral setting can not only reinforce and teach many musical concepts, but can also inform the teacher greatly on the coordination, social structure, willingness, and well-being of a small or large group of singers.  Dr. Sweet’s final session of the week will involve participant involvement in movement activities and discussion about the planning and benefits of such lessons in choir.

Sponsored By

Bret Amundson

College of St. Scholastica
Duluth, MN

Thursday, August 7: 8:05-9:15 PM

Telling a Story Through Programming and Score Preparation

Our guest conductor for the Directors’ Chorus will take you on a journey revealing his considerations for programming and score preparation for this year’s Chorus.

Sponsored By

Randi Erlandson

Prior Lake High School
Savage, MN

Rob Hahn

Prior Lake High School
Savage, MN

Thursday, August 8: 1:45-2:35 PM

Letting Voices Be Heard:
Partnering with Administration and Districts To Promote and Market Today’s Choral Programs

In a time when social media dominates communication in our world, we are choral directors need to learn how to utilize social media and collaborate with our administrators and districts to promote our programs to broader audiences that extend beyond the parent base of support.  This session will include guest speakers from the Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools Communications Office, as well as activities directors and administrators who will discuss ways that choral programs are promoted in an attempt to enhance visibility within our communities.

Chuck Ballentine

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
St. Paul, MN

Friday, August 9: 2:10-3:10 PM

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR):
Strategies To Deal With Suicide Prevention

Learn the three steps anyone can take to help prevent suicide.  Just like CPR, QPR is an emergency response to someone in crisis and can save lives. QPR is the most widely taught gatekeeper training program in the United States, and more than one million adults have been trained in classroom settings in 48 states. This one-hour class is for members of the community over the age of 16 who want to learn best practices in suicide prevention.

Special Note:  This session will meet the requirements for licensure recertification from the Minnesota Department of Education.

Sponsored By


Start each morning (8:45-9:00 AM) with singing through “tried and true” titles that have been hand-selected and personally recommended.

Children’s Choir

Wednesday, August 7

Leah Ries

Mankato Children’s Choir

Middle School Choir

Thursday, August 8

Aaron Schumacher

Zumbrota-Mazeppa Middle School

High School Choir

Friday, August 9

Scott Perau

Red Wing High School


Grand piano sponsored by
Minnesota Boychoir and
Mark Johnson, artistic and executive director

Mark Johnson

Minnesota Boychoir
St. Paul MN

Sponsored by

Aaron Kohrs

Minnetonka MS East
Minnetonka MN

Sponsored by

Emily Feld

Piano Instructor and Choral Director
Rosemount, MN

Sponsored by