Garrett Lathe, founding Artistic Director of the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota, has directed ensembles to critical acclaim for local, regional, and national audiences, including an invitation to sing at the National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association, ACDA of Minnesota’s State Conference, and the Minnesota Music Educators Association state clinic. Mr. Lathe earned his Bachelor Degree in Music Education from Bemidji State University under the mentorship of Dr. Paul Brandvik. He has completed coursework for a Masters in Music in Choral Conducting at St. Cloud State University. Mr. Lathe has been a music educator for over 20 years at the Middle and High School levels, and is currently serving as Choir Director of Sauk Rapids-Rice Middle School, where he conducts a program of 200 singers in three choirs. He is a frequent adjudicator and clinician around Minnesota and is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota, serving on their Editorial Board. He is active in community theater both as an actor and music director. Mr. Lathe’s wife, Holly, and four children are all active in community theater and music organizations and reside in Sartell.
Michelle Bendett directs choirs and teaches voice at Northfield Middle School in Northfield, Minnesota. Also a conductor with Northfield Youth Choirs, she leads Anima, a treble choir for 6-12th grade. Michelle has taught music at the high school, middle school, and elementary school levels since beginning her career in 2000. Prior to relocating to Minnesota, Michelle was choral director at Lake Nona High School and Avalon Middle School in Orlando. Her choirs consistently earned the highest ratings at performance assessments and were selected to perform at the 2015 State Florida Music Educators Association Clinic-Conference in Tampa and the 2014 Florida American Choral Directors Association Fall Conference. High enrollment in her choirs garnered state awards on multiple occasions and her students have sung in state, regional and national honor choirs.
Michelle received her Bachelor of Choral Music Education and Master of Music Education from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, where she studied with Dr. Andre Thomas, Dr. Judy Bowers, Dr. Clifford Madsen, Dr. Kevin Fenton and Professor Roy Delp.
Michelle is a member of the Minnesota Music Educators Association, American Choral Directors Association, and serves as an adjudicator, clinician and honor choir guest conductor. She has served as National Honor Choir Coordinator for ACDA and is currently serving as Co-Chair for the National Student Leadership Academy for ACDA’s Virtual Conference in March of 2021.