I graduated from Sartell High School in 2008 and sang with Youth Chorale from 2005 (when it all began!) through 2008.  After high school I attended St. John’s University where I earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication. I currently live in Bloomington, where I enjoy spending time with my husband, Justin, and our rescue dog, Chloe. I am a Digital Content Publisher for Best Buy where I help bring promotions and designs to life on BestBuy.com. In addition to my daily job at Best Buy, I am the Communications Lead for our Pride Employee Resource Group. It feels amazing to work for a company that recognizes diversity and inclusion.

When I was at St. John’s, I participated in community theater with GREAT. In the Twin Cities area, I have continued my involvement with various theater companies. Last summer I found Eagan’s summer community theater and fell in love with it. I hope to continue doing shows with their company.

When I was in Youth Chorale I loved meeting new people from high schools throughout the area and coming together for one common thing, which was to create music. Music is so important because it not only brings joy to the people listening, but also to those performing. When all of these voices can work together to build one beautiful piece, that’s extraordinary.

My favorite piece that we sang with Youth Chorale was “Praise to the Lord”– I still listen to the recording and get goosebumps.

Being in choir has helped me gain a lot of confidence. When I was a junior in high school, I came out to my friends and family. Being in choir (and theater) was my safe space. I felt like I was around people who supported me and didn’t pass judgement. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t had that space to grow and be myself.

It’s important to support the arts in our schools and communities because there are students out there who are looking for that space where they feel like the can be expressive. The arts can bring out so much emotion, which is imperative to our lives. It’s a safe space for people, like me, who feel like they can show their true colors. I will be forever grateful for the friendships and the lessons that I have learned from the arts.

My advice to YCCM singers: Be you, use that voice and continue to express yourself every day.