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. Previously she taught at University of Northwestern–St. Paul, University of Colorado–Boulder,  Northern State University, University of Wisconsin–River Falls, University of Minnesota–Twin Cities and Morris, Concordia University–St. Paul, and St. Olaf College. 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 state, regional or national conferences of Chorus America, ACDA, MMEA, and SDMEA, and she has presented sessions at professional conferences of ACDA, MMEA, SDMEA, AGO, NAfME, and NATS. She sang professionally with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers, at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Charles Dutoit, and as a soloist with the Black Hills Symphony Orchestra, the Bismarck-Mandan Symphony Orchestra, and the Longmont Symphony. Geston is a past president of ACDA North Central Region and ACDA-MN, and past chair of the F. Melius Cristiansen Endowment Fund Committee. She received ACDA-MN’s 2012 Choral Director of the Year award. She has a DMA in choral literature and conducting from University of Colorado–Boulder, an MM in choral conducting from University of Minnesota–Twin Cities, and a BA in vocal performance and teaching certification from North Dakota State University.

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.

Fall 2022 Choir Roster

Artistic staff

  • Mary Kay Geston, conductor
  • Barbara Brooks, pianist


  • Jamie Deering
  • Deborah Ferrell
  • Anita Fischer
  • Amanda Koubsky
  • Nina Lasceski, OSB
  • Ardis Nelson
  • Stephanie Otremba
  • Marit Ortega
  • Samantha Pounds
  • Lori Satterness
  • Jennifer Schroeder
  • Carol Showalter
  • Amy Walker


  • Eileen Farrell
  • Lisa Finken
  • Kate Gardner
  • Donna Harris
  • Mila Hanson
  • Anne Meyer Jarrell
  • Chris Ann Johnson
  • Jean Kraft
  • Gayle Larson
  • Aera Moscho
  • Maureen Otremba
  • Kendra Penke
  • Gabby Ouedraogo
  • Natalie Ringsmuth
  • Lori Roggenkamp
  • Marcelyn Smale
  • Claire Studt
  • Kerry Trnka
  • Amber Wright


  • Paul Houston
  • Jake Lohman
  • Mark Nelson
  • Tim Seeman
  • Aelred Senna, OSB
  • Barry Toland
  • Brad Ufer
  • Don Waage
  • Chuck Wright


  • Wayne Anderson
  • Bill Cook
  • Dennis Douma
  • Dirk Edmonds
  • Evan Gertken
  • Paul Paddock
  • Ross Resley
  • Tim Rysavy
  • Gary Sneide
  • Chris Stadther
  • Mike Stadther
  • Charles Welter
  • Matthew Zook