Julie AmacherJulie Amacher

Moderator for Women’s Composer Panel

Monday, June 10 at 3:30 p.m.
IDS Tower, 50th floor


Read about Julie Amacher, Program Director, Classical Minnesota Public Radio, and Manager:

Dean BillmeyerDean Billmeyer

Organist for the Closing Eucharist

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. (Conference Track)
St. John the Evangelist Church


Award-winning organist Dean Billmeyer announced his retirement from the University of Minnesota faculty in May 2023 following forty-one years as University Organist and Professor of Music. At the University he has taught classes in Counterpoint, Thoroughbass, and Keyboard Skills, as well as Organ and Harpsichord. Dean has appeared as a recitalist and clinician throughout the United States and Western Europe–his numerous awards include prizes in the Dublin International Organ Festival Competitions in 1980 and 1988, and the American Guild of Organists has twice awarded him for the highest scores nationally on the Guild Certification Examinations.

A long-time member of the Association of Anglican Musicians, Dean’s early musical experiences include singing as a chorister in the 50-voice men and boys’ choir at St. George’s Church in Schenectady, NY. His organ teachers include the late David Craighead (Eastman School of Music), the late Robert Anderson (Southern Methodist University), and Michael Radulescu (Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Vienna).

Dean’s Double CD recording entitled “Straube Plays Bach” is the only commercially available recording of the nine major Preludes and Fugues and G Minor Fantasia and Fugue on early 20th century tubular-pneumatic action organs using the idiosyncratic, hyper-Romantic 1913 edition of Karl Straube, the famous organist and cantor of the Leipzig St. Thomas Church. The recording, released by Rondeau Production of Leipzig in 2018, was nominated for the “Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik” as one of the best classical recordings in Germany in that year.

Dean has appeared regularly as organist, harpsichordist, and pianist over the last twenty-three seasons with both the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. He has held the title of Organist-in-Residence at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul since 2021.

David CherwienDavid Cherwien

Hymn Festival Leader

Tuesday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m.
Mt Olive Lutheran Church


David Cherwien holds an undergraduate degree in Choral Music Education and Organ Performance from Augsburg College (Minneapolis, MN). He has a MA in Theory and Composition and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in organ performance from the University of Minnesota. He spent two years studying conducting, composition and organ at the Berlin Church Music School.

Cherwien currently serves as Cantor at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Minneapolis as well as past Artistic Director of the National Lutheran Choir. He also serves as editor for the National Lutheran Choir Series of choral music. In 2000, he was awarded “Distinguished Alumnus” by Augsburg College. He is the 2007 award winner of the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition for his piece, “The Souls of the Righteous.”

For more information visit

Copper Street BrassCopper Street Brass

Closing Eucharist

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. (Conference Track)
St. John the Evangelist Church


The Copper Street Brass is the premier brass chamber ensemble in Minnesota and one of only a handful of self-sustaining brass groups in the country. They were founded in 2008 as a professionally trained classical chamber music ensemble with two trumpets, horn, trombone and tuba. They present exclusively their own music, an original blend of musical styles from Mozart to Madonna, in over 35 concerts and 100 outreach services each season.

The group sound has been described by reviewers as “flawless”, “polished”, and “somewhere between magnificent and exquisite.” Their artistic excellence was widely recognized in 2013 when we were chosen as a finalist for the prestigious McKnight Artist Fellowship. Each individual artist is a master of his or her craft.

The six core musicians, Allison Hall, Josh Cameron, Tim Bradley, Alex Wolff, Nick Adragna, and Erik Barsness, have a combined 10 professional music and education degrees and thousands of performances under their belts. The artists have performed with world-renowned classical ensembles like the Minnesota Orchestra, SPCO, Minnesota Opera, and Malaysian Philharmonic and also have the versatility to perform with jazz/blues groups such as Davina and the Vagabonds and Nooky Jones. These musicians have recorded individually for Prince,
Grammy-winner Big Walter Smith, and many other groups.

Isabelle DemersIsabelle Demers

Organ Recital by Damin Spritzer and Isabelle Demers

Wednesday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m.
Abbey Church


There is no shortage of organists who make their instruments roar; and while her power was never in question, Demers made the instrument sing.” (Peter Reed, Classical, England, 2016)

With playing described as having “bracing virtuosity” (Chicago Classical Review) and being “fearless and extraordinary” (Amarillo-Globe News), Isabelle Demers has enraptured critics, presenters, and audience members around the globe.

She has appeared in recital throughout Europe, Oman, Australia, New Zealand, the United States, and Canada, including at the Cathedrals of Cologne and Regensburg (Germany); the ElbPhilharmonie (Hamburg); the Royal Festival Hall, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Cathedral, and Westminster Abbey (London); City Hall (Stockholm); the Royal Opera House of Muscat (Oman); the Forbidden City Concert Hall (Beijing, China); Victoria Hall (Singapore); Melbourne Town Hall (Australia); Auckland Town Hall (New Zealand); Disney Hall (Los Angeles), Davies Hall (San Francisco), the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas), the Kimmel Center, and the Wanamaker Organ at Macy’s (Philadelphia); and the Maison Symphonique (Montréal).

Dr. Demers is in continual high demand by her colleagues as witnessed by performances for numerous regional and national conventions of the American Guild of Organists, the Institute of Organ Builders and International Society of Organbuilders, the Royal Canadian College of Organists, and the Organ Historical Society. She has released multiple CD recordings on the Acis and Pro Organo labels. Her latest CD, recorded at Chicago’s Rockefeller Chapel, was released in January 2020, and includes works of Reger, Laurin, Dupré, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, and Macmillan.

A native of Québec and a doctoral graduate of the Juilliard School, Dr. Demers is Associate Professor of Organ at McGill University (Montréal, Québec). She was formerly the Joyce Bowden Chair in Organ and Head of the Organ Program at Baylor University (Waco, Texas).

To read more about Isabelle Demers, visit

Richard GrayRichard Gray

Director for the Closing Eucharist

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. (Conference Track)
St. John the Evangelist Church


Richard Gray has served as the Director of Music and Organist for St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church, St. Paul, MN, since the Fall of 2018. He is Artistic Director of the church’s Winifred Bean Sacred Music Series and coordinator of the choral compline ministry. He is currently preparing the choir for its first UK Choral Evensong Residency at both Canterbury and St. Albans Cathedrals in July of 2024.

Richard has held positions on the music staffs of St. George’s Episcopal Church, Nashville, where he trained as organ scholar, and Highland Park Presbyterian Church, Dallas, as assisting organist during his graduate music studies. He holds degrees from Southern Methodist University and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Additional studies and training have been at the McGill Summer Organ Academy, Montréal, the Atlanta Summer Conducting Institute as a Conducting Fellow, the Cambridge Choral Summer Course, and the University of North Texas Conducting Symposium.

He won the Prize for Hymn Playing Excellence in the 2016 William C. Hall Pipe Organ Competition, San Antonio. Richard has performed concerts in notable venues throughout the United States including Charlotte’s Myers Park Baptist Church, Washington DC’s National City Christian Church, Cleveland’s The Church of the Covenant, Boston’s Trinity Church on Copley Square, and The Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul, Charleston, SC. Richard is an active member of the Twin Cities Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and Association of Anglican Musicians.


Tuesday, June 11 at 5:00 p.m. — Vespers with extended Offertory


Founded in 1988 by Axel Theimer, and now led by Adam Reinwald, Kantorei is one of the premier choral ensembles in Minnesota. With an integral focus on vocal health, Kantorei’s singers have set a standard in Minnesota for rich and effortless choral sound. Kantorei performs a wide range of mostly a cappella music from around the world. Most concerts include signature pieces complementing pieces from both well-known and emerging composers.

Kantorei performs primarily in Minnesota and shares recordings worldwide. Through its outreach programming, Kantorei invites audiences of all ages to share its pursuit of singing for a lifetime.

The  Rev’d Craig Peter LemmingThe Rev’d Craig Peter Lemming

Celebrant for the Closing Eucharist

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m.
St. John the Evangelist Church


The Reverend Craig Peter Lemming is a consummate learner, teacher and leader whose ministry focuses on continuing the legacies of the late Archbishop Desmond Tutu and The Rev. Pauli Murray, among others. Fr. Craig is committed to advance the work of anti-racism, decolonization, and justice and equity for all, and is passionate and compassionate about building community, cultivating love and empowering young leaders.

Fr. Craig was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe. In 2001, he moved to the United States to study music, obtaining a Bachelor of Music degree from New England Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music degree from Indiana University. It wasn’t until 2013 that he entered United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities for his Master of Divinity degree. He was ordained a Transitional Deacon in 2015, and ordained a Priest in 2017. Since then, Fr. Craig has served as the Associate Rector of St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Vice Chair of Board of Circle of the Beloved. He recently joined the Diocese of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota’s inaugural Racial Justice & Healing Formation Team.

In May 2021, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Fr. Craig started his doctoral studies–Doctor of Ministry (which is designed to allow students to remain working in their ministry base while they complete their degree)–with the Faculty of Divinity at Trinity College University of Toronto.

The Rev’d Kathie NyklemoeThe Rev’d Kathie Nyklemoe

Retreat Leader – Walking with St. Benedict

Thursday, June 13 at 9:00 a.m. (Retreat Track)
Abbey Chapter House


The Reverend Kathie Nycklemoe serves as a spiritual director through the Benedictine Center of Saint Paul’s Monastery in Saint Paul, MN, among other places. She has served in public ministry since 1989, and as a pastor since 1995. Her training in contemplative practices began at the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation in Baltimore, MD, under the direction of Tilden Edwards and Gerald May, and she received her training to be a spiritual director from the Franciscan Spirituality Center in La Crosse, WI. She serves at St. Stephen’s Lutheran in Bloomington, MN as pastor as well as retreat leader for clergy and laity. She also serves as a clergy coach through the Fairview Clergy Health Center and as a mentor with Sacred Ground Center for Spirituality, and co-leader of the Going Deeper: Clergy Spiritual Life and Leadership program at the Shalem Institute.

Melanie OhnstadMelanie Ohnstad

Organist for the Opening Eucharist

Monday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m.
St. Mark’s Cathedral


Melanie Ohnstad has been a church musician since her graduation from St. Olaf College. She led the music ministries of St. Stephen Lutheran Church, Wausau, WI, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ, and Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis. During her Arizona years she earned a Master of Music degree at Arizona State University studying organ with David N. Johnson. She played multiple concerts with the Phoenix Symphony birthing a lifelong love of collaborative music making. When Melanie moved back to the Midwest she enjoyed over a decade as an assistant organist to Howard Don Small at St. Mark’s Cathedral, Minneapolis, and participated frequently in the nationally acclaimed St. Mark’s Music Series.

Melanie advanced her organ playing through a DMA with Dean Billmeyer at the University of Minnesota and is ever grateful for a sabbatical spent taking lessons with Rachel Laurin in Ottawa. Melanie has accompanied Minnesota choirs on three separate European tours and has made multiple recordings with Twin Cities choral ensembles. She has served as dean of the TCAGO chapter and is currently on its board.

Melanie was named Minister of Music and the Arts Emerita during her retirement celebrations at Westminster where her tenure included the installation of a Dobson organ, growth of the church’s musical ensembles and community partnerships, and the introduction of new worship styles and global repertoire. Melanie is now freelancing as an organist, expanding her culinary explorations, and enjoying more time in hiking boots and cross country skis. She and her husband travel frequently and are delighted by more regular visits with kids and grands in CA and CO.

Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSBFr. Anthony Ruff, OSB

Presenter, “Music, Hymnody, and Latin Chant of Saint John’s Abbey”

Wednesday, June 12 at 10:45 a.m.
Abbey Church


Fr. Anthony Ruff, OSB is a monk and priest of St. John’s Abbey. He teaches theology, liturgical music, and Gregorian chant. He has masters degrees from St. John’s and Yale University, and he earned his doctorate in liturgy from the University of Graz, Austria. He has studied organ with Kim Kasling, Thomas Murray, and Peter Planyavsky. He is the founding director of the National Catholic Youth Choir, a summer camp and touring experience at St. Johns for high-school singers. He served on the music subcommittee of the national Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy that drafted the 2007 document of the US bishops Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship. He was chair of the committee of three people that wrote the English chant melodies for the 2011 Roman Missal for all the English-speaking countries. He has served on the board of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians and the leadership team of the Catholic Academy of Liturgy, and he has served on the executive committee of the Hymn Society. He is a frequent presenter across the U.S. and internationally on topics of liturgy and music, he serves as English-German translator for the Internationale Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Hymnologie, and he frequently publishes in liturgical and musical journals. He plays organ and directs Gregorian chant at the abbey. He is moderator of the popular liturgy blog “Pray Tell.”

To see a list Fr. Ruff’s articles, books, and presentations, visit Saint John’s School of Theology and Seminary website.

The Venerable Paul SneveThe Venerable Paul Sneve

10:30 a.m. Preacher, Opening Eucharist (St. Mark’s Cathedral)

2:00 p.m. Presenter, “The Episcopal Church and Indigenous Ministries in Minnesota & the Dakotas” (IDS Tower, 50th floor)

Monday, June 10


The Venerable Paul Sneve is Archdeacon oof the Episcopal Diocese of South Dakota. He is the Vicar of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Vermillion, South Dakota. In 2018, Archdeacon Sneve oversaw the translation process of the Lakota translation of the Book of Common Prayer. He will preach at the Conference’s Opening Eucharist as well as give a keynote address “The Episcopal Church and Indigenous Ministries in Minnesota & the Dakotas”.

Damin SpritzerDamin Spritzer

Organ Recital by Damin Spritzer and Isabelle Demers

Wednesday, June 12 at 3:00 p.m.
Abbey Church


Area Chair and Associate Professor of Organ Dr. Damin Spritzer has been with the University of Oklahoma since 2014. Formerly Adjunct Professor at the University of North Texas teaching Organ Literature and Sacred Music, she continues work with the Cathedral Church of Saint Matthew in Dallas as Artist-in-Residence for Cathedral Arts. For the Organ Historical Society, she serves on the Library Archives Committee, and for the Association of Anglican Musicians, on their editorial board. Previously she has participated with the Board of Directors for the Leupold Foundation, dedicated to the preservation of pipe organ music and culture, and is active in the Dallas and Oklahoma City Chapters of the American Guild of Organists.

To read Dr. Spritzer’s full biography, visit

The SingersThe Singers

Choral Concert

Sunday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m.
St. Mark’s Cathedral


The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists have shared their inspiring artistry and community impacts through remarkable performances for twenty years. Audiences have come to recognize their peerless singing, vocal flexibility between musical styles, their commitment to ensemble singing, and their willingness to sing music that speaks to a changing world.

Proud standard-bearers of the midwest choral tradition, The Singers are as comfortable singing Bach as they are Bob Dylan. The choir, under the artistic leadership of its founder Matthew Culloton, have performed four times at the famed Ravinia Festival (the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra), Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis, Ordway Performance Center in St. Paul, Chicago’s Orchestra Hall, and churches, auditoriums, and schools across the midwest. The Singers frequently collaborate with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where they have performed under conductors Jonathan Cohen, Jeannette Sorrell, Jory Vinikour, and Paul McCreesh. The choir has been honored to sing under other leading conductors including Craig Hella Johnson, René Clausen, and Kathy Romey.

The Singers’ discography includes their latest collection, Come to the Woods, which features works by American composer Jake Runestad, Moira Smiley, Dominick Argento, Samuel Barber, and John Corigliano. Lauridsen: Mid-winter Songs is a collection of works by one of the world’s most beloved composers, Morten Lauridsen, who is featured on the piano in collaboration with The Singers. Tonight, Eternity Alone and Splendid Jewel are collections by René Clausen and Stephen Paulus, respectively. Along with three Christmas albums, a folk song collection, and live concert recordings, The Singers also feature a concert video library on their website.

Always a distinctive element of The Singers’ concert programming is the inclusion of new music by both established and emerging composers, including nearly 100 premieres of new works by Dominick Argento, Jocelyn Hagen, Joshua Shank, Abbie Betinis, Stephen Paulus, Timothy C. Takach, Craig Carnahan, Linda Kachelmeier, Paul Rudoi, Christine Donkin, William Malpede, Dale Trumbore, AJ Harbison, Paul Winchester, Jennifer Brandon, and Tesfa Wondemagegnehu. Artistic Director and Conductor Matthew Culloton writes new holiday settings each season, and far-reaching Calls-for-Scores have brought new works from around the globe to the attention of the leadership team.

The Singers and Matthew Culloton host educational events aimed both at students and the community at large. Choral Festivals that bring together students from around the region have been held to honor Morten Lauridsen and René Clausen, and school classroom visits and masterclasses are a frequent offering. The Community Sing events have been aimed at the wider community of choral enthusiasts, and have been centered on the Justice Choir Songbook, and works by Fauré, Mozart, and John Rutter. Over the years, thousands of students and community members have taken part in these meaningful programs.

The Singers are a 40-voice professional choral ensemble based in St. Paul, Minnesota. The organization was founded in 2004 by its current Artistic Director Matthew Culloton, and is currently celebrating its 20th Anniversary Season in 2023-2024. The Singers deliver compelling and thought-provoking performances and educational opportunities that can bridge cultural differences and invite appreciation of the choral art. The core values that guide the organization as it brings this mission to life are Respect & Openness, Courage, Collaboration, Excellence, and Passion.

Maxine ThévenotMaxine Thévenot

Director of the Diocesan Festival Choir for the Opening Eucharist

Monday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m.
St. Mark’s Cathedral


Award-winning Canadian-American musician Maxine Thévenot is known for her skillful, musical playing, inventive concert programming, and passionate, informed conducting. She combines a commitment to her liturgical work as a cathedral musician with guest conducting, and solo and collaborative organ recitals. Maxine is Director of Cathedral Music & Organist at the Cathedral of St. John in the Diocese of the Rio Grande, Albuquerque, New Mexico. Dr. Thévenot is the Artistic Director of the cathedral’s Friends of Cathedral Music community outreach series. Additionally, she is the founding and artistic director of Polyphony: Voices of New Mexico, the state’s first resident professional vocal ensemble. Adjunct instructor of organ at the University of New Mexico, she is also an organist for the Alumni Chapel on campus. She serves as an examiner for the American Guild of Organists and on the editorial board of the Association of Anglican Musicians.

To read Dr. Thévenot’s full biography, visit

Abraham WallaceAbraham Wallace

Organ Recital by the 2023–24 Gerre Hancock Intern

Monday, June 10 at 5:15 p.m.
St. Olaf Roman Catholic Church


Abraham Wallace is a doctoral student at the University of Michigan studying Pipe Organ performance and Sacred Music. He holds degrees from Yale University (MM: Pipe Organ Performance) and the University of Oklahoma (BMA: Piano, BS: Geophysics). From 2021-2023, he was the Edwards Organ Scholar at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Detroit, MI. He is currently serving as organ scholar at St. George’s Episcopal Church in Nashville, TN under the auspices of the AAM Gerre Hancock Organ Internship. In his spare time, he enjoys baking bread and making coffee.

Recital Program

Gerre Hancock: Meditation on Union Seminary
Herbert Howells: Psalm Prelude Set One, No. 2 (Psalm 37:11)
Olivier Messiaen: Alléluias sereins d’une âme qui désire le ciel (from L’Ascension)
Jeanne Demessieux: Te Deum
George Walker: Three Pieces for Organ
      I. Elevation
      II. Chorale Prelude: Jesu, Wir Sind Hier
J.S. Bach: Allein Gott in der Höh sei Ehr BWV 662
Gustav Holst (trans. Peter Sykes): IV. Jupiter, The Bringer of Jollity (from The Planets op. 32)

Madeleine WoodworthMadeleine Woodworth

Organist for Lutheran Vespers

Tuesday, June 11 at 5:00 p.m.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church


Growing up in Oak Park, Illinois, Madeleine Woodworth studied piano with Dr. Sally Sloane and organ with Dr. Dennis Northway, and she participated in church choirs directed by Dr. Northway. She currently serves as the Director of Music at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park and enjoys her role as staff accompanist at the Merit School of Music. She pursues her passion for small choral ensembles by singing in the William Ferris Chorale and in La Caccina, a nine-voice professional treble ensemble. In her current work, she values the representation of minority and living composers and authors.

Madeleine earned her Bachelor of Music in Organ Performance at the Eastman School of Music under the tutelage of Nathan Laube. During her time there, she won first prize in the American Guild of Organists’ Regional Competition for Young Organists (Great Lakes Chapter) and the Westchester Organ Competition. Her interest in new music led her to collaborate with Wilhelmina Esary, to premiere a new piece for the organ called “On Track” as part of the AGO’s Student Commissioning Project. Madeleine participated in Eastman’s student government and was inducted into the music fraternity, Sigma Alpha Iota.

Along with her church choir background, her involvement in choirs at Eastman led her to pursue her Master of Music in Choral Conducting at the Yale School of Music and Yale Institute of Sacred Music where she studied with Marguerite Brooks, Dr. Jeffrey Douma, and David Hill. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Robert Shaw Prize for excellence in conducting and the Richard Paul DeLong Prize in church music. Her favorite international professional experiences include the Yale Schola Cantorum’s tour to Scandinavia, the Yale study exchange with Zurich University of the Arts in Switzerland, and the Lisbon Choral Conducting Masterclass in Portugal. Most recently, she was a featured performer in the North Shore American Guild of Organists Regional Convention and enjoyed singing with Nova Era Vocal Ensemble (Lisbon-based) in summer 2023.



Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church

Tuesday, June 11 at 5:00 p.m. — Vespers and extended Offertory by Kantorei

700 Snelling Avenue South
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55116

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church

Tuesday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. — Hymn Festival led by David Cherwien

3045 Chicago Ave S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407

St. John the Evangelist Church

St. John the Evangelist Church

Thursday, June 13 at 10:30 a.m. — Closing Eucharist

60 Kent St N
St. Paul, MN 55102-2232

Saint John’s Abbey Church

Saint John’s Abbey Church

Wednesday, June 12 — Events from 10:45 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Retreat Track — Events on Thursday, June 13 & Friday, June 14

2900 Abbey Plaza, Box 2015
Collegeville, MN 56321

St. Mark’s Cathedral

St. Mark’s Cathedral

Sunday, June 9 at 7:30 p.m. — Concert by The Singers

Monday, June 10 at 10:30 a.m. — Opening Eucharist

519 Oak Grove St
Minneapolis, MN 55403

Saint Olaf Catholic Church

Saint Olaf Catholic Church

Monday, June 10 at 5:15 p.m. — Recital by Abraham Wallace (2023–24 Gerre Hancock Intern)

215 S 8th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402


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