To Inspire & Support a Community of Choral Musicians in Our State

The Star of the North magazine is official publication of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota (ACDA-MN). It is published online only three times a year in Fall, Winter, and Spring. The magazine is part of ACDA-MN organization to be the choral director’s source for engaging and ongoing professional development.


Recognizing the broad diversity of cultures and beliefs by our member directors, by our singers, and by all those touched by performances of choral music, ACDA of Minnesota reaffirms its commitment to balance and diversity in programming. It is important that we, as the leading proponents of choral art in our state, actively encourage and model sensitivity to and awareness of diversity, particularly with regard to sacred and secular repertoire. We recommend that no more than fifty percent of the literature chosen for Honors Choirs, All-State Choirs and Pick Six packets contain music with sacred text. Performances and lists pertaining to music in worship are exempt.

Adopted by the ACDA of Minnesota Executive Board, January 13, 1996


  • 1991 — Ken Hodgson, Editor — Bruce W. Becker, President
  • 1997 — Mark Howarth, Editor — Allan Hawkins, President
  • 1999 — Mark Howarth, Editor — David Dickau, President
  • 2003 — David Scholz, Editor — Ken Hodgson, President
  • 2005 — Ryan Connolly, Editor — Kathryn Larson, President
  • 2007 — Kari Douma, Editor — Mary Kay Geston, President
  • 2009 — Kari Douma, Editor — Judy Sagen, President
  • 2011 — Mark Potvin, Editor — Brian Stubbs, President
  • 2013 — Bret Amundson, Editor — Steven Albaugh, President
program discontinued in 2015

Articles may be submitted to the copy editor for consideration:

Richard Carrick
Star of the North Editor

All website contents are © Copyright of ACDA-MN and may not be copied, reproduced and distributed in any form without specific written permission from ACDA-MN.

Each article can be saved as PDF file or printed (see the buttons at the bottom of each article & page, including this page) for your personal use only.


On behalf of the Star of the North editorial team, we thank you for engaging in the work of equity and for pursuing peace and justice that enhances the social and emotional well-being of our communities.

Richard Carrick

Managing Editor

Richard Carrick is a conductor, clinician, singer, and educator. He is the Director of Choral Activities at The College of St. Scholastica and Director of Music at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary in Duluth, MN. Additionally, he serves as the Managing Editor of Star of the North, the official publication of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota. Richard holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from the University of Washington where he studied with Geoffrey Boers and Giselle Wyers. When not making music, Richard can be found on a trail somewhere in the woods, on the golf course, or spending time with his wife and children.

Miriam Augsburger

Associate Editor

Miriam Augsburger holds a B.A. in Music Education from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana. She received her M.A. in Choral Conducting and Pedagogy from the University of Iowa in 2015, studying under Dr. Timothy Stalter. Miriam is in her twelfth year of teaching, and has taught at all levels K-12. She is currently the 7-12 choir director at Rockford Area Schools in Rockford, MN.

Miriam serves on the editorial board of The Star of the North, volunteers as a church musician, and is active as an accompanist.

Erik Doucette

Associate Editor

Erik Doucette is a conductor, vocalist, and writer living in Minneapolis. In his short career, he has worked with high school, college & university, and church choirs, sung as a professional chorister, coached conductors-in-training, and directed music in theater. Erik studied Music, Latin, and Modern History at the University of Minnesota, Voice and Conducting at Eastern Michigan University, and Conducting, further, at the University of Iowa. Currently, Erik serves as an associate editor for Star of the North – the publication of the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota – and he writes the Diligent Dirigent newsletter on Substack. In his free time, he tries to put a dent in his to-read list, studies and tutors in languages, takes long walks with his pup, Ava, attempts to catch up on movies and TV, and spends time with his partner, Claire.

Dennis Friesen-Carper

Associate Editor

Dennis Friesen-Carper is a versatile conductor, composer, and keyboardist with performances in major venues of North America, China, and Europe. Former Music Director of the Pasadena Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus, and Indiana Opera North, he is experienced with orchestras and choirs in professional, academic, and church settings. He is active as guest conductor and composer, most recently at Shanghai University, Wuhan Conservatory, and with the Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra of Warsaw. Dr. Friesen-Carper serves as Music Director at St John’s Lutheran Church in Lakeville, MN and is teaching conducting and leading the Philharmonia Orchestra for Spring 2022 at St Olaf College. In December of 2022 he will conduct the Asian Cultural Symphony in concert in New York’s Carnegie Hall.

Commissioners include the Houston Symphony, Houston Chamber Singers, Tucson Symphony, Zhejiang Symphony and Symphony Chorus, Lake Superior Chamber Orchestra, Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminaries, Lutheran Music Program, and Augsburg Fortress, with recent sacred works premiered in Minnesota, Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio. Innocents, his oratorio with Walter Wangerin, Jr. on the abuse of power, received the 2010 Arlin G. Meyer Prize.

As Reddel Professor of Music at Valparaiso University, Dr. Friesen-Carper created the all-student Symphony, conducted opera, musicals, and oratorio, taught composition, conducting, and improvisation. He has collaborated with Chinese musicians for over twenty years, including keyboards and arrangements for three tours with Silk Cedar, a Chinese/American fusion band.

Garrett Lathe

Associate Editor

My path to conducting choirs began my junior year of high school, taking rehearsals when my choir director when on an unexpectedly early maternity leave. Little did I know that day when I volunteered out of curiousity how incredible the journey that was about to start. My training brought me to North Central University, under Dr. Larry Bach, then to Bemidji State University, under Dr. Paul Brandvik. I have completed my coursework in the master’s program at St. Cloud State University. My early teaching career found me in Red Lake, Bagley, and Staples. I spent twelve wonderful years in Sartell, building a program of 250 singers in a school of under one thousand. In 2005, along with a wonderful group of volunteers, I founded the Youth Chorale of Central Minnesota.

Elisabeth Cherland

Associate Editor

Dr. Elisabeth Cherland is a fourth-generation choral conductor as well as professor, singer, song leader, violinist, and Lutheran church musician. As Director of Choral Activities at Minnesota State University, Mankato, she teaches courses in choral methods, conducting, private voice, and conducts the Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. She lives with her partner Kent and their two children in St. Peter. She loves storytelling and story-hearing, doughnuts, bubble tea, running (when the temperature is perfect and the course is flat), and sunshine when it’s available.

Jamie Andrews

Executive Director

Jamie Andrews (he/him) has over two decades of experience working in the arts, education, and nonprofit administration. He is a founding member of PrimeLife Arts Learning, an on-line platform dedicated to Creative Aging. Previously he served as Development Manager for Lakeshore Players Theatre, and as the Chief Learning Officer at the Minnesota Opera, where he oversaw an extensive array of programs for all ages, including an industry-leading Creative Aging initiative, Music Out Loud, the first opera-based El Sistema-inspired youth program in the US, and the commission of a youth opera The Song Poet, based on the novel by Kao Kalia Yang with music by Joceyln Hagen. Active in arts advocacy, Jamie serves on the board of Minnesota Citizens for the Arts.

Jamie started his career in the arts teaching band and choir in Forest Lake and Lester Prairie, Minnesota, after earning a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He also earned a master’s degree in Arts and Cultural Management from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.