History of The Menomonie Singers
Juliana Schmidt, Executive Director, started the Menomonie Singers in 1989 as the Menomonie Chamber Singers, with only 12 members, rehearsing at various locations in Menomonie, and performing in many spaces including local churches, the Menomonie Public Library, and the Mabel Tainter Center for the Arts. From 1989-2012, the choir grew only slightly, continued performing only for the holidays, for Tainter tours, and private parties, but without a conductor until 2012, when it was incorporated, became an admission by audition group, and Nathan Jacobson took on the position of conductor. Since that time, the choir has grown to 36 singers, holding regular auditions in August and January. The organization has also added more performances, ultimately establishing regular community concerts, with an oratorio selection in the spring accompanied by an orchestra.
Brian Klein has a Bachelor of Music in choral conducting from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota. Recently, he became the new choral conductor at the Mondovi School District, and heads up the Middle and High School choir programs. Klein was previously a tenor in The Menomonie Singers, and has had many choral conducting experiences in local school districts in Wisconsin and Minnesota. He has also worked as an assistant conductor in Philadelphia and New York City. Says Klein, “I’m excited at this opportunity to lead the choir after a long difficult time, and eager to be a part of the revival of the arts in this community.”
Juliana Schmidt started The Menomonie Singers in 1989. She has been active in the arts in Menomonie for many years, having also been one of the founders and then director of Arts Coming Together, Inc., a local arts agency. She has performed with one-half of a duo known as An Old Sweet Song, bringing American popular song from the Victorian Age to World War II with her own scripted shows to audiences all over the Midwest. She sings in, and serves as treasurer for, The Menomonie Singers, and teaches music classes at UW-Stout. She has taught voice and piano for more than three decades.