A Message from Kimberly Brody, Executive Director:
Thank you for reading! I am about to share a personal story, but it really does have a relationship to Ars Nova Singers!
I grew up in Minnesota, and our school district had a very robust band program at the time. The band director was notoriously scary – even parents were afraid of him! But he was a positive influence on the entire district’s music programs, and when I was in fifth grade I had already decided I wanted to play the oboe.
My mom was very supportive from the beginning, when I had to play clarinet for a couple of years before I could switch to oboe, and then after I switched she made sure I had private lessons and could participate in all of the extra-curriculars to support my dream of playing professionally. She attended every concert she could – whether it was at my college only 45 minutes from home, or in La Coruña, Spain, when I played in an orchestra there, or numerous concerts in Chicago before I moved to Boulder.
And she was beyond thrilled when I was appointed Executive Director of Ars Nova Singers – another phase of my professional music career.
Stepping back several decades… My mom took piano lessons during the time when “encouragement” was delivered in the form of semi-abuse. Her teacher rarely, if ever, complimented her, and while she stuck it out through some apparently humorous recital appearances, she wasn’t motivated to stay with it. She later learned from her own mother that the teacher reported “It’s too bad Peggy quit; she could have been a concert pianist!” So my mom’s career in music ended up mostly about supporting mine. She also loved attending concerts of all sorts, especially when there was a choir involved. In Minnesota she had many opportunities to hear great orchestral and choral music, from St. Olaf College productions to Vocalessence to Minnesota Boychoir. Who knew that she was getting primed to be a fan of Ars Nova Singers!?
A sweet coincidence is that my mom worked at Macalester College for over a decade, her last job before retirement. And Macalester College is Maestro Tom Morgan’s alma mater!
As a young girl in St. Paul my mom attended the prestigious all-female Summit School. Her class had a total of 14 girls and they were all pals throughout high school. And they have remained pals – an astonishing feat over the course of 71 years! The numbers have dwindled over time, but as of December 2019 there were still 11 remaining.