Mary Kay Geston, Artistic Managing Director
Dr. Mary Kay Geston, Great River Chorale's artistic managing director, has worked with the ensemble since 2010. She has taught at the University of Northwestern St. Paul, University of Colorado at Boulder, and Northern State University, and has directed choirs as a sabbatical interim at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Concordia University—St. Paul and Saint Olaf College. Choirs under her direction have performed with the Minnesota Orchestra, at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and at the Minnesota Music Educators Association.
Mary Kay has directed all-state and honor choirs across the USA and has been a choral clinician in Taiwan and South Korea. She was the founding director of the Fargo-Moorhead Choral Artists and the Minneapolis Vocal Consort, served as associate conductor of the Longmont Chorale and conductor of the Longmont Chorale Singers, both in Colorado, and was a church musician for 25 years.
In addition to her work with Great River Chorale, Mary Kay is the conductor of the Minnesota Music Teachers Association Honors Concert, past president of ACDA’s North Central Region, co-chair of the 2018 ACDA Central & North Central Region conference, and past chair of ACDA of Minnesota's F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee. She has made presentations at state, division, and national professional conferences for ACDA, American Guild of Organists, National Association for Music Education, and National Association of Teachers of Singing. Dr. Geston was named ACDA of Minnesota’s 2012 Choral Director of the Year.
Barbara Brooks, Collaborative Pianist
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.