A Gustie Songbird Returns to the Nest Posted on July 17th, 2023 by

Dr. Andrew Kendall ‘15 is coming back to the Hill as the conductor of the Choir of Christ Chapel and Lucia Singers.

What have you been up to since leaving Gustavus?
A.K.: Right after I graduated from Gustavus, I taught for three years in Holdingford, MN, where I was responsible for 11 choirs. After that, I was very determined to get a masters and a doctoral degree in choral conducting. In 2018, I moved to Louisiana to do a masters degree at Louisiana State University to study with Dr. John Dickson. After that, I did my doctoral degree at the University of Iowa with Dr. Timothy Stalter.


How did you end up returning to Gustavus this past spring?
A.K.: I was on my way to my church job in Iowa when I got a call from Dr. Brandon Dean, who asked if I was interested in leading the Gustavus Choir during his sabbatical. I immediately asked my professor if it was possible to use this experience as the final recital project of my doctoral degree. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t miss!


Did you notice any differences between your time as a student as your time as a director?
A.K.: During my student years, I was told by someone that “Gustavus is eternally the same and very different.” I found that to be very true! It was fun to come to Bjorling Recital Hall as a director [this past spring] when the last time I was there I was a student singing in Gustavus Choir. The type of students we have is still the same at core: self-driven and intellectually savvy.


What are you looking forward to as the conductor of Chapel Choir and Lucia Singers?
A.K.: Definitely to keep building my connections with our students and to keep the legacy of the music at Gustavus. I’ve been singing since I was a child, and I was proud of my musical accomplishments as a student and of how music and Gustavus have impacted my life.


Why Gustavus?
A.K.: At Gustavus you are not told, ”No, we don’t do that here.” We are not a school where you can only do one thing. We make sure we offer whatever opportunities our students are looking for. I keep finding myself back at Gustavus and still see this place as my home.


Comments are closed.