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Choral Arts Ensemble has been inspiring audiences throughout southeast Minnesota with performances of outstanding choral music since its founding by Rick Kvam in 1985.  The auditioned singers of CAE are active community members from a wide variety of professions, including teachers, doctors, medical students, business people, computer technicians, and church leaders, all drawn together to create excellent music and contribute to the artistically thriving life in and around Rochester.


Our repertoire includes a cappella works, from the Renaissance to the present day, as well as a variety of choral/orchestral works ranging from J.S. Bach's Mass in B minor to Beethoven's Mass in C to Honegger’s King David.  We are proud to have commissioned and premiered more than  65 new choral works.


We have collaborated locally with the Rochester Symphony Orchestra, Honors Choirs of SE Minnesota, Rochester Art Center, Janet Lang Dancers, and regionally with the Great River Shakespeare Festival, The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Dale Warland Singers. For several years CAE’s Christmas at Assisi concert has been broadcast on KSMQ public television and the choir has selections played regularly on Classical Minnesota Public Radio.  

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Artistic Director

Artistic Director Rick Kvam holds music degrees from Harvard and Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  Rick founded the Rochester Men’s Capella in 1982, the Choral Arts Ensemble in 1985, and the Honors Choirs of SE Minnesota in 1992. He won the Sally Ordway Award for arts initiative, the Mayor’s Award for artistic excellence, and is a member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame.  Fortunate to collaborate all these years with life partner and accompanist Jan Kvam, Rick recently retired after thirty-four years of work in emergency medicine.

Choirs under Rick's direction have sung at the White House, on National Public Radio's A Prairie Home Companion, with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra at the Ordway, and collaborated in recent seasons with artists from the Great River Shakespeare Festival and the MN Bach Society. 


The Singers for 2021 - 2022


Abigail Kraus
Alyssa Quiggle
Clare Weber
Heidi Shriver
Janette Davis
Kari Hanson
Katie Riese
Kristina Harfmann
Kristine Hanson

Megan Dotzler
Nora O'Sullivan
Sarah Vinzant
Susan Lien


Aimee Hampton
Amanda Lindberg
Amy Loftness
Barb Depman
Caitlin Van Lith
Cana Straub
Clare Malinowski
Diane Banfield
Erin Twohy
Jenny Kruse
Leanne Pederson
Marissa Brengman Hansen
Melissa Dalley
Stephanie Schumacher


Alan Hansen

Alex Knoll
Andrew Johnsrud
Bart Seebach
Dan Kutzke
Eric Stinson
Garett Lee
Ian Parney
Kristoffer Acuña
Matthew Maus

Nathan Berthelsen
Peter Sullivan
Riley Thompson
Sam Simataa


Aaron Schumacher

Ben Quiram
Brandon Preuss
David Joyce
Grant Holsinger

Isaac Lynch

Jason Sinnwell
Jon Coker

Mike Thompson
Nathan Lien
Oliver Reitan

Scott Kleppe
Steven Dotzler
Todd Davis


The Board of Directors

Executive Committee

President:  Carol Berteotti

Vice President:  Alan Hansen

Secretary:  Melissa Dalley

Treasurer:  Dan Kutzke

Past President:  Nora O'Sullivan


Ryan Cardarella         Beth Nienow 

Holly Ebel                    Marilyn Riederer

Ron Elcombe              Eric Stinson

Judy Hickey                  Riley Thompsen

Ilaya Hopkins


Artistic Director:  Rick Kvam

Executive Director:  Karen Sessler

Accompanist:  Jan Kvam

Concert Coordinator: Tim Hildebrandt

Rosemary & Meredith Willson Harmony for Mayo


Social Justice

Choral Arts Ensemble, like our many audience members and neighbors, is profoundly disturbed by the tragic killing of George Floyd, yet another horrifying reminder of the systemic racism and injustice that stubbornly persists in our community, our state, and our nation. 
While this situation is toxic for our entire society, we acknowledge the particular hurt and anger of our neighbors of color. We will seek through our music to be a force for healing and advocating for justice, equality, and peace. 
We know that music and other arts can bring people together to address our deepest problems and to create communities in which all individuals are valued, all are safe to live and work. Our commitment to doing this work remains strong.

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