STAPLES -- The Central Minnesota Boys Choir has named Mary Moen of Wadena as its first music director.
Stan Carlson, secretary of the choir's board of directors and a veteran choral director, made the announcement. "I am very pleased that Mrs. Moen has agreed to be the director of the Boys Choir," Carlson said. "She is just what we were looking for. She combines high artistic standards, fine musicianship and a real desire to give young people the tools to become independent musicians."
The choir recently completed its first auditions and has selected boys from Alexandria, Backus, Motley, Staples, Verndale, Wadena and Walker to participate in the choir's first season.
The Central Minnesota Boys Choir works with choir members, parents and professionals to develop talent, artistic abilities, musical interest and leadership skills in boys. The choir will provide educational opportunities and a quality musical resource for central Minnesota.
Moen was born in Bemidji, but spent most of her growing years in Roseville. She graduated from Mounds View High School where she was involved in just about everything musical. During her high school years, she was involved in choir, band, orchestra, madrigal singers, music theory and composition classes, and was the student director of her high school choir.
Moen majored in music education at Bemidji State University, where she was a member of choir, band, orchestra and chamber singers. She graduated with a degree in K-12 choral and classroom music, and also found time to add a degree in flute performance. She has done graduate work at The University of North Dakota, where she was a graduate assistant, and the University of St. Thomas where she studied Kodaly technique. The Kodaly program is a vocal-based curriculum that teaches music literacy through a systematic approach starting at a very young age.
Moen taught elementary music in International Falls and Argyle before accepting her current position at Staples Elementary School, where she has developed a strong choral program. She is an active church musician and teaches private voice and flute to private students. Her experience also includes work in music theater where she recently was the vocal director for the children's chorus in the Lamplighter Community Theatre production of "Oliver."
She has played in many music theater pit orchestras. She was a member of a Renaissance choral group Concentus Cantorum, and the recorder group Border Recorders.
Moen has been involved in American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association and Organization of American Kodaly Educators.
Many of her students have won membership in state Honors Choirs of the Minnesota ACDA and have participated in the "Celebration of Young Musicians" sponsored by MMEA.
Moen is excited about directing the Central Minnesota Boys Choir. She feels this will be a wonderful opportunity for boys in central Minnesota to grow as musicians, work as a team with other boys with similar interests and have a great time performing quality music.
The Central Minnesota Boys Choir will operate under the auspices of the Staples Area Men's Chorus, which will act as the fiscal agent during the boys choir's first season.
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