Prep Choir Class (Grade K - 1)
Michelle Gehrz 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 was invited to conduct the Minnesota ACDA 4-5-6 Girls’ State Honor Choir in May 2020 and is currently 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 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.