over 50 YEARS of music
A Central Minnesota cultural resource tracing its roots to 1935, the Staples Area Men’s Chorus re-organized in 1971 under the leadership of Stan Carlson, director for nearly 40 years, and Doug Grossman,
chorus president through much of the 1970s.
Over the years, the chorus has received support from local civic, business, education and arts instiutions. And it has returned those gifts by collaborating with area choral groups and muscians to perform seasonal concerts, special works and events throughout the region.
In 2003, chorus members started the annual Real Men Sing Festival to promote lifeling participation by students in choral and solo music. The festival has since been recognized and copied by groups across the country.
interview with long-time SAMC member DAVE ANDERSON
The Staples Area Men’s Chorus observed its 50th anniversary during the 2021-22 season. We interviewed Dave Anderson, one of the veteran singers of the Staples Area Men’s Chorus and also past SAMC Board Secretary for 22 consecutive years, to learn more about his 49 years with the chorus.
Were you a member of the original SAMC?
No, but Mike Blessing was. When Stan Carlson organized the chorus in 1971-72, I was on a sabbatical leave from my teaching position in Staples attending the University of Northern
STEVEN J. HOEMBERG JR.
Steve Hoemberg’s assocation with the SAMC dates to his high school days in Staples where he sang under Stan Carlson, who revived the SAMC in 1971 and served as director until 2010.
After graduating from St. John’s University in 2001 with a bachelor’s degree in music, Hoemberg served as the director of choral activities at Staples Motely Public Schools for 15 years. In 2010, he succeeded Carlson as SAMC director and served in that role until 2016, and after a two year break, rejoined in 2018.
Hoemberg’s musical career includes work as director of the Staples Area Women’s Chorus, director and founder of the Colla Voce Girls’ Choir, membership in the American Choral Directors Association of Minnesota and one year as an adjunct faculty member at St. Cloud State University where he directed the SCSU Men’s Chorus.
His work and leadership have been recognized by the Five Wings Arts Council, VoiceCare Network and the Minnesota Music Educators Association. During his tenure with the chorus, Hoemberg has arranged collaborative performances with many well-known artists and musicians, including The Singers Minnesota Choral Artists, The Great Northern Union and Cantus. In 2013 he led an multi-generational ensemble of choral groups and orchestra in the performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria for four Minnesota communities.
Sandy Paskewitz 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 other volunteer activities.and Cantus. In 2013 he led an multi generational ensemble of choral groups and orchestra in the performance of Vivaldi’s Gloria for four Minnesota communities.