The White Bear Lake Area Middle and High School choirs have a long standing tradition in excellence. We value the art of vocal expression to cultivate our humanity and character as human beings in an ever changing world. Our singers and our choir teachers believe in reaching out to our audience and fellow chorus members in ways that cultivate relationships and change lives. Singing in a choir develops unique skills that foster many skills for our modern day learners. They are collaborators, communicators, thinkers, and leaders. They are singers. They are our future.
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Our Directors offer 5 choirs at the High School level during the school day. There is also one choir for each grade level at both Central and Sunrise Park middle schools.
Outside the school day the Choir Directors provide additional music opportunities. There are 5 choirs in grades 7 – 12 that gather before and after school to hone their music skills.
Check out the concert schedule on the CALENDAR page.
Wendy Suoja, originally from Detroit Lakes, MN has worked in the White Bear Lake Area School District since 1998. In addition to conducting choirs, she also directs and produces the high school musicals. Her choirs consistently earn superior ratings at large group contest, and her musicals earn top honors through the HTT Spotlight program. Wendy was selected as as the WBL district’s Teacher of the Year in 2013. She has served as the assistant vice-president for the MMEA All-State Choirs and is currently co-chairing the ACDA SSA 9-10 Honor Choirs. Wendy earned her bachelor’s degrees in Choral and Instrumental Music Education from the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University and her master’s degree in Learning Technology and Design from St. Mary’s University. In her free time, Wendy and her husband enjoy spending time at the cabin and cheering on their college-age son and daughter.
Eliza Snortland, originally from Fargo, ND has been working in the White Bear Lake Area School District since 2013 conducting choirs and vocal directing the high school musicals. For the past eight summers, Eliza has also served as the vocal director for the Main Stage Musicals at Trollwood Performing Arts School in Moorhead, MN. Her choirs have earned superior ratings at large group contest, and she is an active member of ACDA and MMEA. Eliza earned her bachelor of music degree in Vocal Music Education from St. Olaf College and her master of music degree in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University. While pursuing her graduate degree, she also directed the NAU University Singers, co-directed the NAU Chamber Singers, and chorus mastered two lyric theatre productions. When she is not conducting choirs or vocal directing musicals, Eliza enjoys arranging choral music, cooking with her husband, and playing board games!
Cassandra Telae is a singer, songwriter, artist, teacher and lover of all things music. Born and raised in Minnesota, she graduated from Cambridge-Isanti High School before studying classical voice performance at the Chicago College of Performing Arts. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Music at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and is licensed in the state of Minnesota to teach K-12 (vocal) music education. Cassandra has explored musical opportunities in various neo-soul bands and solo showcases and has a variety of music influences and training that includes: jazz, classical, soul, gospel, and pop. Telae has been blessed to work with students at Central Middle School, encouraging confidence and musical expression, since the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year. Cassandra Telae believes in every child’s ability to learn and express the power of music. The opportunity to empower her students to find their voice and feel seen is a major part of Telae’s philosophy and classroom culture. When not teaching, she enjoys finding treasures at local thrift stores and curating her own collection of inspiring art pieces. Telae is the proud mother of two teenage sons who are constant sources of inspiration.
Meet the Staff
Grace Spieldenner, originally from Lincoln, NE recently graduated from the University of Northwestern-St. Paul with her bachelor of music degree in K-12 Vocal and Classroom Music. At the college she sang in the Northwestern Choir and took on leadership roles, such as soprano section leader and student conductor. Grace also participated in other ensembles, soloing abroad with the Opera Workshop and playing cello with and serving on the counsel of the UNW Orchestra. In the spring, she taught K-8 music in the Roseville District for Parkview Center where she excitedly utilized her knowledge as student and music-maker to teach music. It was her joy to share what she came to know and love with others. Grace recently married her silly and theatrical husband and enjoys running and playing games with her friends in her free time.