Prep Choir Class (Grade K - 1)

Michelle Gehrz

Director:

Michelle Gehrz is the conductor of Cantabile and also teaches Angelica’s Kindergarten/First Grade Prep Choir Class. Michelle 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 from UST. 

 

In addition to conducting with Angelica, she is Artistic Director of Bella Lumina – an adult treble choir based in Hopkins, and she directs the Senior Chorale (55+) with the Music Association of Minnetonka, MN. She is active as a collaborative accompanist for ACDA-MN and MN-MEA All-State Choirs and serves as the R&R Chair for Children’s/Youth Choirs for ACDA-MN. Michelle will be the conductor of the ACDA-MN 4-5-6 Girls State Honor Choir in May 2023.  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 the Wayzata School District. 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, 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!”

 

Philosophy:

The Prep Choir Class is meant to be a first experience for young singers/musicians in the Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs program. Through the use of fun singing games, folk song repertoire, and simple songs, singers will begin to hone skills of pitch matching, singing with a healthy tone, and to experience the joy of singing with others.  Musical skills such as steady beat, musical phrase and form, simple rhythms and basic solfege (Do, Re, Mi) will be used, incorporating the teaching methods of Orff-Schulwerk, Kodaly, and Dalcroze. The young musician/singers will be actively engaged in moving to music, playing simple rhythm instruments, and exploring their voices. The Prep Choir is meant to be an exploratory choir class to prepare them for lifelong music making. The group will give an informal presentation for parents and friends twice per year.

 

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