Mary Kay Geston, Artistic Managing Director
Dr. Mary Kay Geston, Great River Chorale's artistic managing director, has led the ensemble since 2010. In the spring of 2019 she is serving as an interim faculty member at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Previously Geston has taught at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, University of Colorado, Boulder, and Northern State University, and has held interim positions at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Concordia University - St. Paul, and Saint Olaf College. Choirs under her direction have performed at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), for the Minnesota Music Educators Association, and with the Minnesota Orchestra.
Geston is a frequent guest conductor for all-state and honor choirs across the USA and has been a clinician in Taiwan and South Korea. She was the founding director of the Fargo-Moorhead Choral Artists and the Minneapolis Vocal Consort, associate conductor of the Longmont Chorale, conductor of the Longmont Chorale Singers, and was a church musician for 25 years.
In addition to her work with Great River Chorale, Mary Kay conducts the annual Minnesota Music Teachers Association Honors Concert and is past president of ACDA North Central Region and ACDA of Minnesota and past chair of the F. Melius Christiansen Endowment Fund Committee. She has presented sessions at state, regional, 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.