Photo by Thomas Patrick Photography

Artistic Staff & Singers

Dr. Mary Kay Geston

Artistic Managing Director

Mary Kay Geston has led Great River Chorale since 2010 and has previously taught at UW–River Falls, U of M–Twin Cities and Morris, Concordia University–St. Paul, CU–Boulder, UNW–St. Paul, St. Olaf College, and Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD. She has prepared choirs for the St. Cloud Symphony Orchestra and Minnesota Orchestra, directed all-state and honor choirs across the U.S., and was a guest conductor in Taiwan and South Korea. Choirs under her direction have performed at professional conferences of Chorus America, ACDA, MMEA, and SDMEA. Mary Kay sang professionally with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, at Carnegie Hall with Charles Dutoit, and was a soprano soloist with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and Longmont Symphony, Colorado. Geston is a past president of ACDA North Central Region and ACDA-MN, past chair of the F. Melius Cristiansen Endowment Fund Committee, and received ACDA-MN’s 2012 Choral Director of the Year award. She has a DMA in choral conducting from CU–Boulder, an MM in choral conducting from U of M–Twin Cities, and a BA in vocal performance from NDSU.

Barbara Brooks

Collaborative Pianist

Vocal coach and pianist Barbara Brooks has worked with opera companies in the USA and Canada and is on staff at the Wesley Balk Opera/Music Theatre Institute. She has been a music director for Theatre de la Jeune Lune and The Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company, and coached opera at universities in Texas, Colorado and Minnesota. Barb studied with Gyorgy Sandor, Martin Isepp, and at England’s Britten-Pears School.

Spring 2024 Choir Roster

Artistic staff

  • Mary Kay Geston, conductor Sponsored by Gary Sneide, Charles & Judith Welter
  • Barbara Brooks, pianist Sponsored by Doug & Mary Kay Geston


  • Jessica Basol
  • Rebecca BotzSponsored by Steven Botz
  • Madeline Briekos
  • Jamie DeeringSponsored by S. Michelle L'Allier, OSF & S. Janice Wiechman, OSF
  • Anita FischerSponsored by Gina Bystedt, Don Fischer, Kristin Wolf, Mike & Jean Woods
  • Nina Lasceski, OSBSponsored by Fred & Carolina Shermock
  • Darcy Lease GubrudSponsored by John & Nancy Lease
  • Marit Ortega
  • Stephanie OtrembaSponsored by Rachel Otremba
  • Jennifer Schroeder
  • Carol ShowalterSponsored by Brad Petry
  • Amy Walker
  • Aera WenischSponsored by Maureen & Jerry McCarter


  • Natalie CopelandSponsored by Claude Copeland, Linda Ringsmuth
  • Hayley Elvendahl-Rumley
  • Eileen FarrellSponsored by Tom Farrell, Barb North, Annamarie Rametta
  • Lisa FinkenSponsored by Joy Reid, Brooke Hullander
  • Kate Gardner
  • Donna Harris Sponsored by Roberta Basol, Lorraine Cannon, Mary Munger
  • Chris Ann Johnson Sponsored by Virginia Shimota
  • Erin Rysavy JurekSponsored by the Rysavy Family
  • Amanda KoubskySponsored by Bob & Cindy Koubsky
  • Jean KraftSponsored by Mark Larcom
  • Gayle LarsonSponsored by Lester & Teresa Johnson
  • Maureen Otremba Sponsored by Jim Otremba
  • Gabby Ouedraogo
  • Kendra Penke
  • Lori Roggenkamp
  • Marcelyn SmaleSponsored by Anonymous
  • Claire StudtSponsored by Larry Studt
  • Amber WrightSponsored by Judith Fischer


  • Jake Lohman
  • Matt Palmateer
  • Tim Seeman
  • Aelred Senna, OSBSponsored by Give Us This Day
  • Riley Wenisch
  • Chuck Wright


  • A. Eric AndersonSponsored by Marti Carlson
  • Duane Anderson
  • Wayne Anderson
  • Bill Cook
  • Dennis Douma
  • Dirk Edmonds
  • Seth Miller
  • Timothy OstbySponsored by Jay D. Carlson & Mary A. Moran
  • Paul Paddock
  • Ross Resley
  • Tim RysavySponsored by the Rysavy Family
  • Rick RysavySponsored by the Rysavy Family
  • Gary Sneide Sponsored by Ozzie Mayers in memory of Stephen Fuller
  • Chris StadtherSponsored by Kathleen Stadther
  • Mike StadtherSponsored by Kathleen Stadther
  • Charles WelterSponsored by Charlotte Mae Swalley, MOverland Consulting, Beste & Associates Ameriprise Financial
  • Trenton Wyman
  • Matthew Zook