In spring of 2007, David Clarke retired as director of the Chorale.  Mark Potvin, Vocal Music Instructor at Princeton High School, accepted the position of Artistic Director of the Chorale from 2007-2014.  In Fall of 2014 season Joseph Osowski, Director of Choirs at St Michael - Albertville High School became our new Artistic Director and remained with the organization until Spring of 2017, and last season we welcomed Charles Moe as our new Artistic Director.  

Throughout the years the Chorale performed in several Cities in East Central Minnesota, and the Twin Cities.  We performed at regional tours in Duluth, Grand Forks, Eau Claire, La Crosse, Rochester, Marshall, and other Minnesota towns.  The Chorale performed at the State Convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), as well as the ACDA Regional Convention in Lincoln, NE.   Locally we give three concerts per season Christmas, mid-winter and spring.  

The Chorale founded Unum Vox in 2010, an audition only honors choir that draws members from high schools across East Central Minnesota.  Unum Vox and ECMC appear together during our concert season;  the Unum Vox director is Tonya Barnes.  

Our repertoire includes everything from classical renaissance to contemporary choral selections and oratorios, to folk songs and spirituals, as well as Broadway and pops arrangements.  

Traditionally, we invite local high school choirs to join us and Unum Vox at our Scholarship Concert in February, providing a unique experience for area high school singers.  

Unum Vox

In spring of 2010, ECMC applied for and received one of the inaugural Arts and Cultural Heritage ("Legacy") grants to form Unum Vox, a regional honor choir for students in schools that service Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties.  Unum Vox (translated as "one Voice" and pronounced "oonoom vocks") is an elite choir designed to enrich the typical high school choir experience by allowing students  from various schools to excel in a common pursuit of quality singing.  The hope of the East Central Minnesota Chorale is to solicit the participation of serious 10-12 grade choral students from area schools to sing in an ensemble whose artistic capabilities cater to their desire to perform at the highest level possible.  Unum Vox engages singers in conversations about choral literature,  teaches healthy singing, and introduces students to music from a diverse set of world cultures.  Student singers take the skills and experiences from weekly rehearsals home to share with their peers in the hopes of enhancing their leadership in their high school ensembles.  

Our History

Tonya Barnes, Artistic Director, Unum Vox

Charles Moe, Artistic Director, East Central Minnesota Chorale

Board of Directors

Michele Skeim, President

Shirley Geib, Vice President

Lowell Becker, Treasurer

Jean Pauly, Secretary

Randy Hatch, Equipment Manager

Jessica Janorschke

Neil Johnson

Ed Larson

Brea Lutterman


Jean Knight, Business Manager

Steve Tou, Bookkeeper

Deb Aulich, Accompanist, East Central MN Chorale & Unum Vox

Tonya Barnes taught choral music for 17 years at North-Linn Community School District, Iowa, St. Francis High School, Princeton High School, and North Branch High School. She is a graduate of Cornell College, Iowa, where she received her degree in Vocal Music Education. Tonya received her Master’s Degree in Music Education from North Dakota State University in August of 2020. Mrs. Barnes has been conducting Unum Vox for the last nine years. She enjoys making music with students from other schools and watching them collaborate. For her own musical growth, Mrs. Barnes sings with the Northern Lights Chorale and serves as their soprano section leader, soloist, and substitute conductor. Tonya is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In January of 2019, she was elected Choral Vice President for MMEA where she was responsible for the organization of the All-State choir experience. Since December of 2021, she has been serving as President of MMEA helping the organization thrive and grow. When she is not involved in teaching or performing, she works as a Project Manager with an information security firm, FRSecure.  She also loves to spend time with her husband, Ben and their two children, Nolan and Elliana.

David Clarke founded the East Central Minnesota Chorale in 1980.  Clarke was choral director at Cambridge High School, and after leaving Cambridge, became Director of Music at Normandale Lutheran Church in Edina.  Dr. Dennis Port, now conductor of the Bethel University Choir, also served as director for a few years.  Over 150 East Central Minnesota residents have been members of the Chorale. Some of our members have been involved since the Chorale's first year.  

A native of East Central Minnesota, Charles Moe has been the conductor of the East Central Minnesota Chorale since 2017. He is also the Vocal Music Instructor at Princeton High School where he conducts the curricular and extra curricular choirs, teaches Intro to Guitar, and teaches individual voice. He is also an assistant director for Princeton High School’s annual fall musical, as well as the artistic director for PHS’s biennial Madrigal Dinner. Prior to his position at Princeton he served on the staffs of Hutchinson High School (MN) and Underwood Middle and High Schools (IA), as well as the staffs of churches in Iowa and Minnesota. Groups under his direction have performed at the MN state music educators conference in 2016 and 2019. He is active as a clinician, guest conductor, composer, and arranger. Charles holds degrees and certifications from Luther College and Bemidji State University. He resides in Princeton with his wife, Abby.


Deb Aulich earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal/Choral Music Education and Piano from Viterbo University in LaCrosse, WI.  She is currently the Director of Worship & Arts at Trinity Lutheran Church in North Branch where she plays piano and organ for worship as well as directs the contemporary worship team.  As an accompanist, Deb has had the privilege of working with many talented actors and musicians, including: Topol in a production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” the 2008-2009 MMEA All-State Men’s Choir under the direction of Diane Loomer, and the North Branch High School choirs under the direction of Tonya Barnes.  Deb also teaches private piano lessons in North Branch.  She and her husband, Dennis, enjoy checking things off their bucket lists!