12th AnnualChoral Arts Finale Gala Concert

A Premier High School Festival

Now in its 12th year, the Choral Arts Finale is an annual high school choral festival co-sponsored by Concordia University, St. Paul and the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota. This event showcases the state’s top high school choirs.

Six auditioned high school choirs from around the state of Minnesota join the CSP Christus Chorus, led by Dr. David Mennicke, in this annual festival of choral music. Each group will present a 10 minute program, concluding with two pieces by the 400 voice mass choir led by guest clinician/conductor Francisco J. Núñez.

This premier high school choral festival began in 2006 through a generous grant from David and Sandy Frauenshuh, owners of The Frauenshuh Companies, a Twin Cities real estate development company. The Frauenshuh’s are generous supporters of the arts and of Concordia University, St. Paul. Mr. Frauenshuh had a vision for a high profile, high quality choral festival. Their major gifts each year have made this festival possible.

Participating Choirs

Albert Lea High School Concert Choir

Diane Heaney , conductor

The ALHS Concert Choir is made up of 112 students in grades 10-12. Over 300 students in grades 8-12 sing in four choirs that meet daily at ALHS. The choirs have enjoyed tremendous community support. ALHS Concert Choir has been invited to sing as a featured choir at the Luther College and MSU choral festivals, and at the MMEA Midwinter Conference. They travel on a major trip every other year with recent trips to Hawaii and Nashville. This is the choir’s second appearance at the Choral Arts Finale.

Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir

Brian Stubbs, conductor

The Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir has been an institution in Brainerd, Minnesota and the surrounding communities for over 75 years. Enjoying the support of the community and school administration, the A Cappella Choir works at the highest level of musicianship, working with an expectation of excellence that has been passed down through generations of singers and conductors who have marked themselves as leaders in our state, and in our nation. This is the choir’s third appearance at the Choral Arts Finale.

Champlin Park High School Choir

Laura Tempel , conductor

The Champlin Park High School Vocal Music Department, now in its 25th season, has a proud tradition of building community through music. In addition to sharing our voices with our northwest suburban community, we are grateful to have worked with local composers and participated in corporate celebrations, the Cantus High School Residency, the VocalEssence ¡Cantaré! program, the MMEA Midwinter Clinic, the ACDA Minnesota Fall Convention, and the 2011 Choral Arts Finale with Dr. Edith Copley.

Hastings High School Select Chorale

Lin Warren, conductor

Hastings High School has an enrollment of 1260 students grades 9 -12. The vocal music department has over 400 students singing in one or more of the ten choirs, directed by Kathleen Hanson, Tatum Mahlen and Lin Warren. The 80 member Hastings High School Select Chorale is comprised of juniors and seniors. This choir’s selection is based on a premise of inclusion and enjoyment of the arts. Juniors and seniors that display a good work ethic and a love of the arts are included in this ensemble. These students are exposed to a wide variety of literature throughout the year as many prepare to sing in college ensembles.

Roseville Area High School, The Good ’Pellas

Kellen McMillen, conductor

The Roseville Area High School choir program is made up of over 220 students who sing in one or more of seven choirs. The Good ’Pellas vocal ensemble serves as the top chamber choir at the high school. Specializing in a cappella music, the choir performs a variety of challenging and exciting SATB repertoire. The ensemble aims to create choral artistry through performance of choral literature at the highest level. This is the group’s first appearance at the Choral Arts Finale.

Bel Canto performs a variety of music literature and has consistently earned superior ratings at State Large Group Contest.

Wayzata High School Concert Choir

Rebecca Wyffels, conductor
Jeff Dahl, conductor

The Wayzata High School Concert Choir is one of 7 curricular choirs in grades 9-12. The choir has performed at the Dorian Invitational Choir Festival, the Concordia College Festival, St. Olaf College Choral Day and at NC-ACDA, ACDA MN, and MMEA Conferences. Past collaborations include performances with Minnesota Youth Symphonies as part of the MYS 35th Anniversary Season. In 2002, the Wayzata Concert Choir was invited to join a unique partnership between the Minnesota Orchestra and Minnesota Opera, performing choruses from Carmen and La Bohème at Orchestra Hall. Wayzata Concert Choir was honored to share performances celebrating Magnum Chorum’s 20th Anniversary Season. Highlights of past tour performances include a residency with the Toronto Children’s Choir, a performance of Rutter’s Gloria at Carnegie Hall conducted by the composer, and residencies with Conspirare in Austin, Texas. This is their first appearance at the Choral Arts Finale.

Concordia University, St. Paul Christus Chorus

David Mennicke, conductor

The Christus Chorus is the concert choir of Concordia University, St. Paul, chosen by audition. The choir tours and records annually, with international tours every four years. These have included an invited appearance at Poland’s 10th Annual Gaude Mater Festival (one of only two American choirs to perform for this international festival sponsored by the Polish government), serving as choir-in-residence for the 2004 Pentecost Vespers at the St. Thomas Kirche in Leipzig, Germany, a concert/service tour to Ghana in West Africa in 2008, and a concert tour of South Korea in May 2012 that included collaborations with several professional choirs, including the Incheon City Chorale. The choir will take an international tour to Germany/Poland in May 2016.

The group has performed for the national conferences of the College Music Society, the North American Academy of Liturgy, and the Lutheran Education Association, numerous MMEA/ACDA of MN conventions, and concerts with the Minnesota Orchestra. They performed in ACDA of Minnesota’s F. Melius Christiansen 135th Anniversary Concerts at Orchestra Hall, along with the college concert choirs of St. Olaf, Concordia (Moorhead), Augsburg, and Gustavus Adolphus. Members of the choir represent many of the majors on campus, with half pursuing music majors or minors.

Guest Clinician - Francisco J. Núñez

Photo_01-FrancisconunezFrancisco J. Núñez, a MacArthur “genius grant” Fellow, is a composer, conductor, visionary, leading figure in music education, and the artistic director/founder of the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, renowned worldwide for its diversity and artistic excellence. Since its founding in 1988, Mr. Núñez has heightened an awareness of the ability of children to rise to unforeseen levels of artistry and has been cited by The New York Times for “raising the bar [for children’s choruses] by commissioning a steady stream of works from composers who usually write for adults.”

For the past two decades Mr. Núñez has extended and invigorated the repertoire for young voices by commissioning over100 pieces of music from many of today’s most distinguished established and emerging composers, the majority through YPC’s groundbreaking Transient Glory and Radio Radiance commissioning series. These works have greatly contributed to the ever-evolving fabric of music in the 21st century.

Mr. Núñez also leads the University Glee Club of New York City, its fifth conductor since the all-men’s chorus was established in 1894. He was also the director of choral activities at New York University from 2003 to 2010, and is sought after as a guest conductor by professional orchestras, chamber ensembles, and choirs, as well as a master teacher for choral workshops and festivals throughout North America and Europe. Through his Núñez Initiative for Social Change, in addition, he is frequent keynote speaker as a leading authority on the role of music in achieving equality and diversity among children in today’s society.

Mr. Núñez composes countless compositions and arrangements in all musical formats and styles for choirs, orchestras, and solo instruments and is the recipient of an ASCAP Victor Herbert Award and the New York Choral Society’s Choral Excellence Award. ABC-TV honored him as its “Person of the Week,” and Fox News profiled him for “changing young lives with music.” Musical America Worldwide named him among 30 “Influencers” for his contributions to the music industry, NYU Steinhardt honored him with its Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award; and most recently, he was presented with an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Ithaca College.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

  • Time: 7:30 pm.
  • Location: Orchestra Hall
    (1111 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis)
  • Tickets: $15
    (Order online or call the Orchestra Hall box office at 612-371-5656)

The Choral Arts Finale is presented by The American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota and Concordia University, St. Paul.



Music at Concordia

Music plays a large role in student life at Concordia, as an area of study and a mode of expression.

Learn More

Event History

Since the inception of the Choral Arts Finale in 2006, over 4,000 singers from 60 high school choirs have been selected from around the state to participate in this festival, working with a nationally renowned clinician and performing on the Orchestra Hall stage.

2006 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Dale Warland, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg Women’s Ensemble, Sally Peterson, conductor
  • Mounds Park Academy Concert Choir, John Habermann, conductor
  • Duluth East High School A Cappella Choir, Jerome Upton, conductor
  • Northfield High School Concert Choir, Dwight Jilek, conductor
  • Robbinsdale Armstrong High School Concert Choir, Stephanie Trump, conductor
  • The Stillwater Choir, Stillwater Area High School, Erik Christiansen, conductor
2007 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Pearl Shangkuan, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • St. Paul Central High School Central Singers, Martha Coventry Graber, conductor
  • Princeton High School Concert Choir, Mark Potvin, conductor
  • Rosemount High School Women’s Ensemble, Laura Sandham, conductor
  • Bemidji High School A Cappella Choir, Christopher Fettig, conductor
  • Honors Choirs of Southeast Minnesota Lyric Singers, Shelly Winemiller, conductor
  • Apple Valley High School Valley Select Chorale, Bruce W. Becker, conductor
2008 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Jefferson Johnson, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Chaska High School Concert Choir, Sarah Gilbertson, conductor
  • Pelican Rapids High School A Cappella Singers, Gladys Hovland, conductor
  • Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota, Garrett Lathe, conductor
  • Belle Chanter, Stillwater Area High School, Angela Mitchell, conductor
  • Minnetonka High School Concert Choir, Paula Holmberg, conductor
2009 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Eph Ehly, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir, Brian Stubbs, conductor
  • Hopkins High School Concert Choir, Philip Brown, conductor
  • Jefferson High School Concert Choir, Alexandria, Steve Deitz, conductor
  • Montevideo High School Concert Choir, Daniel Hampton, conductor
  • The Stillwater Choir, Stillwater Area High School, Erik Christiansen, conductor
2010 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Paul Salumunovich, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Anoka High School Concert Choir, Michelle Hayes, conductor
  • Austin High School Concert Choir, Brian Johnson, conductor
  • Mound Westonka High School Concert Choir, Kate Larson, conductor
  • Rosemount High School Men’s Ensemble, Stephen Albaugh, conductor
  • Hastings High School Select Chorale, Lin Warren, conductor
2011 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Edith Copley, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Albert Lea High School Concert Choir, Diane Heaney, conductor
  • Andover High School Concert Choir, Melanie Kjellberg, conductor
  • Belle Chanter, Stillwater Area High School, Angela Mitchell, conductor
  • Cantus Certus, Roseville Area High School, Dean Jilek, conductor
  • Champlin Park High School Concert Choir, Laura Tempel, conductor
2012 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. André Thomas, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Princeton High School Concert Choir, Mark Potvin, conductor
  • Buffalo High School Concert Choir, Michael Walsh, conductor
  • Bella Voce Young Women’s Choir, Rochester, Shelly Winemiller, conductor
  • Robbinsdale Armstrong High School Concert Choir, Stephanie Trump, conductor
  • Eagan High School Concert Choir, Randy Schafer, conductor
2013 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Karen Kennedy, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Brainerd High School A Cappella Choir, Brian Stubbs, conductor
  • Cantanti Singers, Angelica Cantanti Youth Choirs, Philip Brown, conductor
  • Northfield High School Concert Choir, Kyle Eastman, conductor
  • The Stillwater Choir, Erik Christiansen, conductor
  • White Bear Lake High School Choraliers, Marie Spar Dymit, conductor
2014 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Geoffrey Paul Boers, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Alexandria Concert Choir, Steve Deiz, conductor
  • Arioso, RAACHE Choirs, Suzy Johnson, conductor
  • The Armstrong Choir, Stephanie Trump, conductor
  • Minnehaha Academy Singers, Karen Lutgen, conductor
  • Valley Select Chorale, Apple Valley High School, Joel Beyer, conductor
  • Willmar High School Concert Choir, Neal Haugen, conductor
2015 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Janet Galván, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Austin High School Concert Choir, Brian Johnson, conductor
  • Detroit Lakes High School Laker Singers, Kathryn Larson, conductor
  • Hastings High School Select Chorale, Lin Warren, conductor
  • Mound Westonka High School Concert Choir, Kate Larson, conductor
  • Princeton High School Concert Choir, Mark Potvin, conductor
  • Roseville Area High School Cantus Certus, Jami Lercher, conductor
2016 Choral Arts Finale - Dr. Joshua Habermann, Clinician/Massed Choir conductor


  • Andover High School Bel Canto, Shaun Halland, conductor
  • Eastview High School Concert Choir, Gregory Douma, conductor
  • Mounds Park Academy Madrigal Singers,  John Habermann, conductor
  • Northfield High School Concert Choir, Kyle Eastman, conductor
  • Orono High School Chamber Choir, Nichole Brenna, conductor
  • St. Michael-Albertville High School Concert Choir, Joseph Osowski, conductor