Michelle Gehrz is a passionate and joyful choral conductor, church musician, organist, music educator, and accompanist in the Minneapolis, MN area. Michelle holds degrees in music education, sacred music, and organ performance from St. Olaf College, University of Notre Dame, and University of St. Thomas (ABT) and has her Orff Certification.
Michelle is the Artistic Director for Bella Lumina – an adult treble choir that she founded in 2018. This choir, based in Hopkins, MN was invited to perform at Carnegie Hall in April 2022 as part of a massed treble choir singing Andrea Ramsey’s “Suffrage Cantata.”
Michelle is on the Artistic Team of Directors with Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs in Bloomington, MN teaching the K-1 Prep Choir, directing Cantabile (grades 4-6), and leading summer camps. She also enjoys directing the Senior Chorale (55+) with the Music Association of Minnetonka, MN and teaches piano and voice privately as well as through Angelica Cantanti.
Michelle is active as a collaborative accompanist for ACDA-MN Honor Choirs and MN-MEA All-State Choirs and has served as the R&R Chair for Children’s/Youth Choirs for ACDA-MN. She currently is choir accompanist for Minnetonka High School and Mound Westonka High School.
Her school music teaching career has spanned all grade levels K-12 and has included teaching at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul, St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Stillwater, and in the Wayzata School District. She co-founded and directed the Wayzata All-District Elementary Choir for many years. She has had choirs perform at MMEA on two occasions.
She has served as Organist/Choir Director at many churches in MN including the Cathedral of St. Paul, Lake of the Isles Lutheran, Mount Calvary Lutheran in Excelsior, Minnetonka UMC, and Hennepin Avenue UMC. She is currently co-organist at St. Anthony Park UCC.
Michelle’s greatest calling and wish for her time on this earth is simply to be a “bringer together of singers -- I hope to be a catalyst for others to spread light, to find hope, and to feel immense joy through song!”
Dr. Bret Amundson is the Dean of the School of Arts and Letters at The College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, MN where he also directs Bella Voce, the college's select treble ensemble. In addition to his work at CSS, Bret is the Artistic Director for the Lake Superior Youth Chorus and the Artistic Director of the Twin Ports Choral Project. He holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Saint John’s University, MN, a Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Saint Cloud State University, MN, a Doctorate of Music in Choral Conducting at the University of Washington, and an MBA in Change and Leadership from The College of St. Scholastica.
Prior to his appointment as Dean, Bret was the Director of Choral Activities and Director of General Education where he led the College’s General Education program, including the first-year program, Dignitas, and directed the College’s auditioned ensembles, Concert Choir and Bella Voce. Under Bret’s direction, The College of St. Scholastica Choirs have performed regionally, nationally, and internationally. In 2014, Bret was awarded the College’s Benedictine Professorship in General Education, and in 2015, Bret was named one of Duluth’s 20 Under 40.
Choirs under Bret’s direction have performed at state and regional conventions. In 2007, the Cathedral High School Concert Choir was invited to perform at the Minnesota Music Educator Association’s Mid-Winter Clinic. That same year, Bret was awarded the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota’s Outstanding Young Conductor Award. In 2015, Twin Ports Choral Project was invited to perform at the ACDA-MN State Conference and, in 2016, the North Central ACDA Regional Conference. In 2017, Bella Voce was invited to perform at the ACDA-MN State Conference and in 2018, the Lake Superior Youth Chorus' Cantemus was invited to perform at that same conference. In 2020, Bella Voce performed at the North Central ACDA Regional Conference.
Maintaining an active schedule as clinician, adjudicator, presenter, and guest conductor for choral festivals and conferences around the country, Bret most recently conducted the 2020-2021 Minnesota All-State SSAA and North Dakota All-State SSAA Choirs.
Bret is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the National Association for Music Education, The College Music Society, Chorus America, and the VoiceCare Network, and currently serves as the North Central ACDA Repertoire and Resources Coordinator for Children’s and Community Youth Choirs.