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.
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 December concerts on the CALENDAR page.
Wendy Suoja, originally from Detroit Lakes, MN has recently completed her 19th school year in White Bear Lake. She has spent the majority of her teaching career at the WBLAHS North Campus where she directs the 9th-10th grade choirs and the high school musicals. Her choirs consistently earn superior ratings at contest and her musicals earn top honors through the Hennepin Theatre Trust Spotlight program. She was selected as WBL area school’s Teacher of the Year in 2013. Ms. Suoja’s Women's choir was featured at the MMEA winter clinic in 2011. She was assistant VP for the MMEA All State Choirs in 2002, 2012, and 2013 and is currently co-chair of the ACDA SSA 9-10th grade Honor Choir. Wendy earned her BA degrees in Choral and Instrumental Music Education from CSB/SJU and her Masters in Learning Technology and Design from St. Mary’s University. She lives in Dellwood, MN with her husband Kevin and kids Isaac (16) and Elouise (14).
This year Eliza Snortland began her first year as the choral director at WBLAHS North Campus. Eliza recently graduated with her Master of Music in Choral Conducting from Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, AZ. 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. Prior to moving to Arizona, Eliza conducted 6th-8th grade choirs at Central Middle School in White Bear Lake and sang with Magnum Chorum. For the past six summers, Eliza has vocal directed the Main Stage Musicals at Trollwood Performing Arts School. Eliza is also a graduate of Saint Olaf College, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Music Education. She sang and toured nationally with the St. Olaf Choir and served as the alto section leader. When she is not conducting choirs or vocal directing musicals, Eliza enjoys arranging choral music, cooking, and hiking in state and national parks.
Odelis Anderson was born and raised in the Dominican Republic. She began teaching preschool music in 2000 in a private music conservatory. In 2003 she moved to Decorah, IA to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and Music Management with a Theater Minor from Luther College. She graduated in 2007. She began working at Lakeaires Elementary the following year and was there for 5 years. She has been at Sunrise since 2013 where she conducts all the choirs. She is also the Director and Producer of the Middle Schools Musicals. She is an Orff Schulwerk certified music teacher from St. Thomas University and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Educational Leadership at St. Mary’s University. She and her family – husband Alex, sons Sebastian and Lucas and daughter Noelle- enjoy playing music together and traveling.
Originally hailing from West Michigan, Ryan Werdon has been teaching choir at various levels for the past 10 years. For the past 5 years, he led 5 choirs from grades 6-12 at Watertown-Mayer Public Schools west of Minneapolis and has also taught and directed at Murray County Central Schools, Southwest Minnesota Men's Chorus and Lake Superior Youth Chorus. Werdon holds degrees from University of Minnesota Duluth and Northern Michigan University in Vocal Music Education and Business, respectively. Currently, Werdon sings actively with the St. Mark's Cathedral Choir in Downtown Minneapolis. He is now happy to be starting a new chapter here at Central Middle School and is excited for all the great music to come!
Meet the Staff