Mary Kay Geston, Artistic Managing Director
Dr. Mary Kay Geston has been Great River Chorale's artistic director since 2010 and was named artistic managing director in 2015. She has taught on the music faculties of University of Northwestern, Northern State University, University of Colorado Boulder, University of Minnesota, Concordia University - St. Paul, and St. Olaf College. Choirs under her direction have performed with the Minnesota Orchestra and at state and division conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and the Minnesota Music Educators Association Midwinter Clinic. Mary Kay has directed all-state and honor choirs across the United States and has been a guest clinician in Taiwan and South Korea. She founded the Fargo-Moorhead Chamber Chorale (now Fargo-Moorhead Choral Artists) and the Minneapolis Vocal Consort, was associate conductor of the Longmont Chorale and conductor of the Longmont Chorale Singers in Colorado, and served as a church musician for 25 years.
In addition to her work with Great River Chorale Geston is president of the North Central Division of ACDA, co-chair of the 2018 ACDA Central & North Central Division conference in Chicago, past chair of ACDA of Minnesota's F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee, and conductor of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association annual honors concert. She has presented at state, division, and national professional conferences for ACDA, the American Guild of Organists, the National Association for Music Education, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Geston received ACDA of Minnesota’s 2012 Choral Director of the Year award.
Barbara Brooks, Accompanist
Barbara Brooks is an active vocal coach, pianist and music director in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Ms. Brooks has served as a vocal coach for several opera companies including Canadian Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Opera Banff, Kentucky Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera and Berkshire Opera. She has served as Music Director for the Tony Award winning theaters, Theatre de la Jeune Lune and The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company. Ms. Brooks is on the music staff of the nationally acclaimed Wesley Balk Opera/Music Theatre Institute. She has served as opera coach at the University of North Texas School of Music, Colorado State University Department of Music, Theatre & Dance, and the University of Minnesota School of Music. Ms. Brooks received her Masters of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Michigan School of Music where she studied with Gyorgy Sandor, internationally renowned concert pianist. Ms. Brooks studied with Martin Isepp at the Banff Center of the Arts and the Britten-Pears School in England.