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Choral Arts Ensemble and Honors Choirs of Southeastern Minnesota Announce New Artistic Director

Choral Arts Ensemble (CAE) and Honors Choirs of SE MN (HCSM) are pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Ryan Deignan as the new Artistic Director. With experience teaching and conducting high school, college, and community choirs, Dr. Deignan brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to both organizations.


Rick Kvam, who will retire as Artistic Director for both organizations in May, says, "Ryan Deignan is an absolutely terrific choral conductor, an energetic and award-winning educator, a stellar solo singer, and a friendly, charismatic personality.  Jan and I, blessed by countless experiences of great music and warm friendships during our years with Choral Arts Ensemble and Honors Choirs, are so happy to know that the choirs will be in such talented hands."


Dr. Deignan joins the choirs from the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), where he served as Assistant Professor and Interim Director of Choral Activities. At UMD, Dr. Deignan led the flagship University Singers and the award-winning vocal jazz ensemble Lake Effect. In addition to his UMD duties, Deignan served as the Artistic and Executive Director of the Twin Ports Choral Project, an adult community choir. Deignan holds a BA in Vocal Performance from Luther College, an MA in Music Education from the University of Iowa, and a DMA in Choral Studies with a cognate field in Vocal Pedagogy from the University of North Texas.  read more

Choral Arts Ensemble's May concert marks the end of an era as long-time director retires

Choral Arts Ensemble (CAE) closes its 39th season with What's Past is Prologue, Artistic Director Rick Kvam's final concerts on May 4 and 5. Kvam founded the Rochester Men's Cappella in 1983, which became the Choral Arts Ensemble in 1985, and directed the choir for 30 years. He took a short break while raising two daughters and continuing his career as an emergency room physician at Olmsted Medical Center, returning in 2012.


For this final concert, Kvam chose some of his all-time favorite pieces —  including the first piece to spark his love of choral singing in high school,  an Irish folk tune that brought an early Choral Arts Ensemble singer to tears at every rehearsal, and the premiere of The Once Invisible Garden, a piece by Dale Trumbore, commissioned by Choral Arts Ensemble in honor of Rick and Jan Kvam. Jan Kvam has been CAE's collaborative pianist for over 25 years and is also retiring.  read more

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