Sandy Paskewitz was born and spent her first 18 years in Truman, MN and started playing piano at age 5. She graduated from high school there in 1978, after accompanying the choir and playing clarinet in the band. She studied music at the University of Minnesota for 2 years, and eventually became a lab technician while attending the Medical Institute of Minnesota. She married Bruce Paskewitz in 1982 and moved to a dairy farm near Staples, MN. They have 3 children, along with many other four legged children who demand a lot of attention. She has loved being a ” mom” to lots of students and calves over the years! Sandy has worked for the Staples High School music department for 18 years, accompanying the high school and middle school choirs, and has played for almost 500 student contest solos. She also has worked as accompanist for the Staples Women’s Chorus and the Colla Voce young girls choir. When she is not busy taking care of calves or playing the piano, she is active in her church, and helps with many of the 4-H activities that her kids are involved in.
The mission of the Staples Area Men’s Chorus is to provide high quality and diverse choral experiences for singers and audiences of all ages in Central Minnesota.
To continue collaboration with professional composers, directors and choruses.
To continue the focus on outreach efforts, (Real Men Sing, for example), to young male singers in Minnesota.
To further the diversity of the SAMC repertoire of musical experience through incorporation of elements from theatre, visual arts and technology.
To promote male chorus singing through travel, outreach, social and performance experiences.
The Staples Area Men's Chorus represents a tight community of Civil Society whose members travel up to 100 miles each week to rehearse. The Chorus' eclectic repertoire spans the breadth of music from some of the world's finest composers, in its role as a partner in major works for chorus and orchestra, to slapstick variety shows. It includes music theatre, folk, pop, and classical selections, as well as some things that defy classification.
The Staples Area Men's Chorus has been a cultural resource to Central Minnesota since 1935. The Chorus traces its origins back to a Staples Civic Chorus under the direction of Lois Cruikshank in the mid-1930's. After a hiatus during World War II, the Chorus was organized and flourished under the direction of Erling Lian in the late forties and early fifties. It became one of the first outstate groups to issue its own recordings. It was reformed again under its previous director in 1971, with the urging of Doug Grossman who had sung in the group as a student und Lian. Grossman guided the group as President through much of the 70's. Early support for the Chorus came from the Staples Lions Club and the Staples Public Schools. The group has been self-supporting for most of its existence and contributes to music scholarships and cultural causes in Central Minnesota.
Mr. Steven J. Hoemberg, Jr. earned his B.A. in Music with concentrations in K-12 Choral Education and Vocal Performance from St. John’s University (MN) in 2001, where he studied choral conducting and vocal pedagogy with Dr. Axel Theimer. From 2001 to 2016, Hoemberg has served as the Director of Choral Activities 7-12 at Staples Motley Public Schools, where he was also a 1997 graduate and a student of Mr. Stan Carlson. In 2010, Hoemberg was selected to follow Stan Carlson as only the second Director of the Staples Area Men’s Chorus since 1971. He also has worked as Director of the Staples Area Women’s Chorus (2007-10) and Director/Founder of the Colla Voce Girl’s Choir (2007-10). As a member of the Minnesota Music Educator’s Association (MMEA) Hoemberg served on the board of directors as the Mid-Level Chair (2005-07), an All-State Section Leader (2006-08 and 2012), and as Region Representative (2010-12). He is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) of Minnesota, for which he briefly served as the Repertoire and Standards Chair for Male Chorus. Hoemberg is quite passionate about adolescent changing male voices, strategies for teaching young male singers, methods for making sight-singing simple and relevant and strategies for picking appropriate repertoire for young men’s voices. He is a frequent presenter throughout the region, including twice at the MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic, the Minnesota ACDA Summer Dialogue, and most recently at the North Dakota ACDA State Conference. Hoemberg’s article titled “Managing the Adolescent Classroom” was published in the MMEA “Interval” as well as the Vermont Music Educator’s Association periodical. Hoemberg’s choirs were featured at the 2006 MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic (7 & 8 Boys Choir) and again at the 2008 MMEA Mid-Winter Clinic (A Cappella Choir). In 2012 Hoemberg prepared the SMHS A Cappella Choir, the Staples Area Men’s Chorus, and the Staples Area Women’s Chorus for a performance of Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna, directed by Dr. Matthew Culloton, in collaboration with The Singers – Minnesota Choral Artists.