Gustavus Honor Choir Festival

March 14, 2022

This year, the Gustavus Honor Choir Festival will bring together outstanding singers and fine choral repertoire in an exciting one-day experience. Students will refine their musical skills through engaging choir rehearsals, faculty-led masterclasses, and a special opportunity to learn from a nationally recognized guest artist.

The festival concert will feature performances by the Gustavus Choir under the direction of Dr. Brandon Dean, the St. Michael–Albertville Concert Choir under the direction of Joe Osowski, selected vocal soloists, and the 125–voice Festival Choir. The concert will take place in the magnificent Christ Chapel, which is regarded as one of the finest venues for choral performances in the region. 

Please consider nominating your deserving students for this special event. If you have any questions about the festival, please contact Dr. Brandon Dean at bdean@gustavus.edu.


Meet our guest artist: Dr. Jeffery Ames

This year we have the great pleasure to welcome nationally renowned composer Dr. Jeffery Ames as our artist–in–residence. Dr. Ames serves as Director of Choral Activities at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. A published composer and writer, Dr. Ames specializes in composing works that are from the heart. His literary publications focus on choral music in the concert gospel genre, as well as choral music in the Western tradition composed by modern African American composers. He holds the honor of being the first recipient of the National ACDA James Mulholland Choral Music Fellowship, as well as being the first African American ACDA ICEP Conducting Fellow.

We are excited to welcome Dr. Ames to work with us throughout the day. We will sing one of his compositions under his direction at the festival concert, and he will also give a brief talk on a special music topic of his choosing. Don't miss this opportunity to learn from this amazing composer/conductor!


The deadline to nominate students is February 28

In order to have participant names appear in the printed concert program, all director nominations must be submitted by Monday, February 28 at 11:59PM.


Any director nominations made after February 28 will not appear in the printed program but nominated students can still participate in the festival.


Meet our guest choir: the St. Michael–Albertville Concert Choir (Joe Osowski, conductor)

As the flagship organization for the school district, the STMA High School Music Program prides itself on excellence and inclusion for the over 500 students that it serves. The STMA Concert Choir is one of fourteen performing ensembles offered at STMA High School. The eighty-one member auditioned ensemble rehearses daily for 62 minutes. Recent performance highlights include invitational performances with American Public Media, the American Choral Directors Association and the Minnesota Music Educators Association. STMA has enjoyed collaborative performances with numerous high schools, collegiate ensembles and professional ensembles, including the Twin Cities based professional men’s ensemble Cantus, The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists and the internationally celebrated vocal ensembles VOCES8 and Chanticleer.

Joseph Osowski is the Director of Choral Activities at St. Michael–Albertville High School. He holds a Masters of Music Degree in Music Education from North Dakota State University and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocal Music Education from the same institution. At STMA High School, Osowski directs four curricular ensembles, two co-curricular ensembles, and serves as the vocal director for the annual high school musical. Mr. Osowski is also the conductor of Bring the Sing, a community singing initiative sponsored by Classical Minnesota Public Radio, President of the Board of Directors for The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists and Choral Director at St. Michael Catholic Church in St. Michael, Minnesota.