As Director of Fine Arts Programs at Gustavus, Al manages all aspects of public events presented by the Departments of Music, Theatre & Dance and Art & Art History, as well as directing all concert touring by ensembles in the Department of Music. He manages the Gustavus Artist Series and the Edgar & Ethel Johnson Endowment for the Arts. He has performed with the Minnesota Orchestra (while in high school), the Echoes Big Band, Rabbit Road Jazz and is the bassist for the Riverlights and St. Peter High School's Department of Theatre musicals. As a vocalist, he has sung with the Gustavus Choir, the Choir of Christ Chapel, the Gustavus Stage Band, the Riverlights, Trinity Lutheran Church's Celebration Singers and the St. Peter Choral Society.
He is a founding member and former board member of the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council, the College Music Tour Managers' Association and the Minnesota Valley Sommarfest which he managed for 17 years. He is an arts advocate with the Minnesota Citizens for the Arts and served on its board representing south-central Minnesota. Al is a long-time member of Trinity Lutheran Church and has served on nearly every board and committee at the church. Mary Pederson Behrends '77 is a veteran of more than 35 years of high school and college teaching in the French language, culture and history and is the coach of the 5-time state champion St. Peter High School Academic Decathlon Team. In 2014, "Madame" was named Minnesota Teacher of the Year by the American Association of Teachers of French. Daughter Kari is a 2009 graduate of Macalester College in St. Paul with a degree in psychology. Kari is a Recruitment Associate with HECUA in St. Paul. Son Christian Hans is a 2013 graduate of Macalester with a major in religious theory and minor in studio art. He is currently employed at Birchbark Books in Minneapolis, looking for additional employment and applying to graduate schools.
When not working in the Office of Fine Arts, Al can be found with his cocker spaniel Ladybug chasing rabbits, squirrels, moles, tennis balls or sticks at his home on McGill Place in St. Peter, or with a cup of coffee or a glass of brandy on his dock on Bergen Lake, enjoying the eagles, otters, beavers, loons, turtles and the solitude of northern Minnesota.
B.A. Gustavus Adolphus College 1977 with majors in History, Social Science and Education