Michelle Gehrz conducts the Con Brio, Con Spirito, and Vivace choirs and teaches the Kindergarten - 2nd Grade Prep Choir Class. Michelle is a passionate music educator, choral conductor, pianist and organist who loves working with musicians of all ages! She leads groups of musicians—whether in the classroom, on stage or in a church setting —with joy, humor, energy, creativity, and love.
Michelle received a Bachelor of Music degree in both Church Music/Organ Performance and Music Education. She sang with the St. Olaf Choir for which she was alto section leader and accompanist. Her quest for further musical study took her to the University of Notre Dame where she received a Master of Music degree in Sacred Music/Organ Performance. Later she would complete all but her thesis for the Master of Arts degree in Music Education at the University of St. Thomas.
She is currently on leave from teaching music in the Wayzata School District where she taught elementary music for 7 years. She co-directed and co-founded the Wayzata Elementary All-District Choir of 80 auditioned singers. This choir was invited to perform at the Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) convention in 2018. Michelle is also Artistic Director for the adult treble choir – Bella Lumina – based in St. Louis Park. She taught vocal music at Mounds Park Academy in St. Paul for 15 years and started the middle school and high school choral program at St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Stillwater.
Michelle’s talents and passion for playing piano, organ, and directing have allowed her to serve many churches in the Twin Cities including the Cathedral of St. Paul, Mount Calvary Lutheran in Excelsior, Gethsemane Lutheran in Hopkins, Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minnetonka United Methodist, and most recently as Interim and Assistant Organist at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church in Minneapolis.
Michelle is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN) and is accompanist for many ACDA events/honor choirs as well as for Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA) All-State Choirs. Michelle will be the conductor of the Minnesota ACDA 4-5-6 Girls’ State Honor Choir in May 2020 and is currenting serving as ACDC-MN Repertoire and Resource Chair for Children and Community Youth Choirs.
Michelle believes that everyone CAN sing and SHOULD sing! One of her favorite quotes about making music is “Music can change the world because it can change people.”- BONO
The Con Brio Choir will sing mainly in unison; then rounds, canons, partner songs, and simple harmony will be added to the repertoire. The main purpose is to learn to sing beautifully and correctly using the best of choral literature from a variety of cultures. Performance opportunities can help the groups achieve this goal, but it is the learning that goes on in the weekly rehearsals that is most important. To sing beautifully and correctly, singers learn proper posture, correct breathing to produce a free floated tone and sensitively shaped phrases, good diction and articulation, how to release tension in the body, and how to listen and blend. Other important objectives for the singers are to learn to focus and concentrate on all aspects of music-making; to work as a caring, well-disciplined team; to start to learn to read music; to become aware of music history, musical styles, and the place of music in various cultures; and to become aware of the power of music as a form of expression.