Choral teachers to leave HHS
The Hudson High School choral music department is losing both of its choir directors, Randi Grundahl and Andrew Haase, at the end of the school year.
Haase, who directs the Chamber Choir and the Chanteuse Choir, was recently granted a two-year leave from the school to pursue his master's degree in choral conducting at Northern Arizona State University in Flagstaff. While there he will teach and conduct the University Singers, an undergraduate chorus.
"I am particularly lucky to be studying under choral director Edith Copely, who is considered one of the best directors in the country," said Haase.
Grundahl, who directs the HHS Swing Choir, Bel Canto and Concert Choir, said she expects to continue working as a music director but will also pursue performing. She is the music director for the St. Croix Valley Summer Theater production of "Always, Patsy Cline" in July and will appear in "Man of LaMancha" at the Paul Bunyan Playhouse in Bemidji, Minn., in August. She said she will also continue to work as a vocal coach for "The Songs of Hope," an international children's chorus in St. Paul.
Both Grundahl and Haase have been with the department for three years. Both expressed regret at leaving Hudson High School and had high praise for the more than 300 students they have taught each year in the program.
"I have had a great experience working in this district and I hope this choral program continues to flourish," said Grundahl. "I want all my students to know that I have learned so much from them in the past three years and I hope they continue to express themselves through music. They are all talented and caring singers and it has been a pleasure working with them."
Haase said he has seen his students "get better and better every year, to the point where they are now performing college-level music and doing it as well or better than many university choirs." Haase said his students have risen to every challenge he has given them and that he expects they will continue to do so under new direction.
"This program has matured a great deal over the past few years and I think that will continue."
Haase, who also directed the school musicals "Fiddler on the Roof," "Hello, Dolly" and "Into the Woods," said he expects those types of quality performances to continue and thanked the school administration, parents and the community for their support of the program and the students.
Grundahl and Haase will direct their choirs in one final performance on Friday at 7 p.m. in the Hudson High School Auditorium. The concert is open to the public, and CDs recorded by the Chamber and Chanteuse choirs will be on sale. Both directors say it will be a difficult but fitting farewell.
For more information about the school's choral music program, contact HHS at (715) 386-4226.
Meg Heaton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.