2018 Northeast District ACE Award

Michelle Gribbon

On behalf of the Northeast region, it is my pleasure to present the ACE award to Michelle Gribbon. Michelle is a professional string teacher, performer, music educator, and accompanist in the city of Duluth. Michelle has done extensive accompanying in the Iron Range and Duluth/Superior area since 2001, playing for vocal recitals, vocal solos, all-state auditions, and of course choirs. Most recently, she was an accompanist at the ACDA-MN Mack Wilberg festival in November 2017.

Michelle has impacted many choral conductors in her professional career. Retired choir director Mark Overland had this to say about Michelle, who was accompanist at Denfeld High School for 4 years, “Michelle is a consummate professional as an accompanist and always was so tuned in to what I wanted musically that she was an extension of the director. What a joy and privilege it was to work with her.

Personally, I have had the opportunity to work with Michelle in her accompanist role for the past 6 years at Duluth East, where she accompanies on 4-5 concerts a year. One of my students, when asked about Michelle had this to say: “Michelle plays with such passion and dedication. I always loved when she’s in our class because she cares so much about what we are doing. She completes our work with her playing. Simply, she makes us better!

It is her complete understanding the role of the choral accompanist that makes Michelle stand out. In Michelle’s words, “fully exploring the emotional impact with the choir, and then sharing those thoughts with the audience is an experience that transcends us to a place where we can safely bare all of our emotions.”

Michelle is a passionate musician that cares about the students she collaborates with, and a consummate professional in the choral accompanist setting. She clearly is a strong advocate for choral excellence in the Northeast region.

Please join me in congratulating Michelle Gribbon, our Northeast ACE award winner!