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about us

The Minnesota Center Chorale (MCC) is a regional community chorus which began its 51st season in the fall of 2023. MCC draws members throughout central Minnesota into this 60-80 member auditioned choir to perform a mixture of classical and contemporary music.  All the members are volunteers.​

Sacred masterworks performed in recent seasons include The Creation (Die Schöpfung) by Franz Joseph Haydn; Requiem Mass settings by Johann Brahms, W.A. Mozart and Guiseppi Verdi; Mass settings by Charles Gounod, Ethel Smyth, and Amy Beach; and Te Deum settings by Zoltan Kodaly and Anton Bruckner.  

​MCC has performed unique and eclectic works such as Paul McCartney's Liverpool Oratorio and Benjamin Britten's Rejoice in the Lamb; and presented programs entitled A Civil War Portrait with musicians Cristina Seaborn and Paul Imholte; The Emerald Isle-with collaborative guests Ring of Kerry; The Reluctant Dragon ­– a free family concert held at The East-Side Boys and Girls Club; When Music Sounds -composed by Roger Towler and performed with the Bethlehem Strings; and We Remember – a memorial concert for 9/11 with the Land of Lakes Choirboys. 

Lighter concerts include Postcards From Minnesota, with special guests St. John's Boys' Choir; Let's Go to the Movies!; A Broadway Valentine; and concerts with the St. Cloud Municipal Band - From Sea to Shining Sea, a concert to honor war veterans, and I Hear America Singing, a patriotic concert. 

Past residencies include St. Cloud native Flannery Cunningham with the premiere of Nightlines, composer Caleb Wenzel with the premiere of the MCC commission of Psalm 150, a premiere of the commissioned work Songs of War and Peace by Judith Shatin, Korean American composer Yung-wha Son with Song of Diaspora, English composer David Fanshawe and a performance of his African Sanctus, and Mary McAuliffe from Ireland for a performance of her Return to Old Ireland.   

2023 photo of chorale members

Our Artistic Director

Minnesota Center Chorale is sad to announce the resignation of Nicole Mattfeld, our Artistic Director & Conductor for the past five years. She will end her time with us after our Scotland tour at the end of June. Although we are saddened to see her leave us, we are excited for her as she has accepted a full-time, tenure-track position as Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music at Alma College in Michigan!

MCC is grateful for the gifts Nicole brought to our choir. Her creative, challenging, and thoughtful programming has strengthened the choir's skills and honed their sound. Additionally, she has almost doubled our choral numbers since the COVID-19 pandemic and has brought our choir to the over 60 members it has today. Our loss is the state of Michigan's gain, and we truly wish her all the success in her future.

With this sad news comes some happy news, as the MCC Board has decided to hire past MCC Conductor Jody Martinson as the Interim Artistic Director & Conductor for the upcoming 2024-25 season. A full Artistic Director search will begin in February 2025.

Jody Martinson is a choral educator for Foley Public Schools, teaching junior high and high school choirs. She is a former Artistic Director and Conductor of Minnesota Center Chorale during the 2009-2017 seasons. She currently directs the Cold Spring Area Maennerchor, and is a previous music director for Holy Spirit Church in St. Cloud. Jody is a frequent performer in the central Minnesota area. Jody holds a BA in Vocal Performance and Music Education from the College of St. Benedict, and a MM in Choral Conducting from St. Cloud State University. She lives in St. Cloud with her husband and two children.

Welcome Jody!

Image of Nicole Lambrecht Artistic Director

Photo credit: Design Studio by Stacy

our accompanist

Denise Bernard was born and raised in Connecticut. She studied piano at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, CT and received her BS in Music Education.  Denise spent her musical career doing a variety of things including teaching K-8 music, serving as a church organist, pianist, choir director and hand bell choir director, managing her own piano studio, and accompanying choirs and musicals. Denise currently teaches K-6 general music at Swanville Elementary. She also serves as organist/pianist at St. John's Episcopal Church and teaches piano at her home studio. For fun, she loves to quilt, create with fabric, work in paper arts, and travel. Denise lives in Rice with her husband, Chris, and enjoys the company of her two grown children and expanding family, including her grandsons, Spencer, Silas, Cooper, and Beckett.

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Accompanist Denise Bernard
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