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LSYC alumni rock! We are so proud of our alums and the ways they use skills developed through choral singing to improve our world. LSYC alumni looking for ways to stay connected should email

Heather Hardy


Private Piano Instructor

Heather offers this advice to current LSYC singers: “Make memories and get to know the people in your choir. Making wonderful music with close friends is one of the deepest joys you will experience. Also, focus and work hard in rehearsals. Your decision to be excellent will set you apart.”

Alia Farah

1 year

Owner and Music Instructor, Portland Music Room

When asked what she learned in LSYC, she said, “Most importantly, I learned that I loved to sing. My desire to become a musician was sparked at this time and eventually became my career.” Alia’s favorite LSYC memory was singing on MPR’s Morning Show. She recalls, “We all had to take off our shoes and enter the stage quietly since it was live radio…We were professionals that day!” She encourages current LSYC singers to keep finding ways to do music: “As you continue to improve and learn, it becomes even more fun.”

Tasha Turk


Mental Health Practitioner, Nystrom and Associates

Tasha offers this advice to current LSYC singers: “Make the arts a priority in your life, even if it means missing a sports practice or a school dance. The memories you make with other musicians and artistically minded people will stick with you for the rest of your life and become a vital part of your support network.”

Andrew Odean

8 years


Andrew’s favorite memory from his years in LSYC is the tours, and he remembers learning how to work with others well by listening. During college, he was involved in Luther College Norseman, Cathedral, and Nordic Choirs. He offers this advice to current LSYC members: “Enjoy every minute of the experience!”

Dr. Paul Bagley, DMA


Freelance Musician & Teacher

“I learned from the example of my excellent directors at LSYC how to take raw exuberance and passion for something and channel it into the focus, attention to detail, and plain old persistent hard work necessary to turn something you love doing into a professional career.”

Meghan Myung Lipinski


“I remember being at every choir rehearsal and concert, because my older siblings were in the choirs and my mom made all the uniforms. LSYC helped me to find joy in the process of making music with my friends, and collaborating with various groups and musicians. Making music is still a big part of my life, and a lot of credit for that goes to LSYC.”

Kasey (Kern) Jolly

1996-2000, 2001-2004

Homemaker & Stylist

“Lake Superior Youth Chorus taught me that music was and is magic. LSYC was able to bring children together with diverse backgrounds and give us a place where we could share our love of singing together--one song, one voice. LSYC was important to me because no matter what was happening in my life, I could always return to the music.”

Melissa Aleshire


Claims Adjuster, UnitedHealth Care

“Making beautiful music under the direction of Tina Thielen-Gaffey paved the way for my spunky personality. LSYC taught me how to build healthy relationships and work hard at achieving my goals. I learned that it is okay to be myself and that my one voice matters.”

Justine Benoit


Music & Recreational Therapist

“I feel as if I learned most of my foundation and technical understanding of music from LSYC. It was wonderful to be a part of something that instills music in children at such a young age, and I truly believe that my background with the choir led me to where I am today.”

Allie Munson


Executive Assistant, RSP Architects, Ltd.

“My time with LSYC (led by Jerry Kaldor) helped me in cultivating my voice. The encouragement of Jerry Kaldor helped me to realize that I could sing – and sing well! I learned how to harmonize, how to blend in with other singers, how to follow and how to lead. My musical ear started to develop: tone, intonation. It helped me in my high school career, as I was part of the select top singers. I still sing regularly, and my background has helped me to learn quickly and remember well.”

Patrick Colvin

1997-1999, 2001-2003

Musician and Educator, Music Director at Pilgrim Congregational Church, Accompanist for LSYC

“LSYC (Hermantown Youth Chorus in those days) was the first time I got to experience choral music at a high level and the feeling of achievement when you work hard to accomplish something truly special. The values that LSYC works to instill in its singers- diligence, excellence, integrity, community—these have all stuck with me.”

Emma Peters-Axtell


Student- Health Information Management (HIM) Major, Computer Information Systems (CIS) Minor

“LSYC elevated my high school experience and enriched my love of music. I never felt like I was a ‘good’ singer, but this experience gave me opportunity to learn and grow and gain confidence in myself. Our choir directors were passionate and insightful. I am truly grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of LSYC.”

Nadia Fayad, MM


Resident Artist, Minnesota Opera

“Lake Superior Youth Chorus helped me learn how to read music at an early age. I also found that it was important for me to be around other kids that had the same interests I had. These are the friends that will last a lifetime.”

Dr. Jeremy Cochran, DMA


Music Director, Adjunct Professor, Arts Academy Instrument Donation Manager, Composer

“Many people do not realize how crucial basic singing skills are for musicians on any instrument. When I started my music major, I could plainly see that my experience with choral singing through LSYC gave me a leg-up over instrumentalists who had never sung. In my four years as choir director at Campbell-Tintah, my students performed several pieces that I had first learned in LSYC.”

Julia Turner


AmeriCorps member; Youth Leader with Youth & Opportunity United in Evanston, IL

“Through building relationships and having access to different musical and cultural learning opportunities, I feel that I experienced incredible musical and social-emotional growth during my time with LSYC, and for that I will always be grateful. Since being a part of LSYC, I haven't gone for more than six months at a time without being in some sort of singing group.”

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