Leah Ries, Artistic Director
Leah began directing the Mankato Children’s Chorus in 2000. She began the Kodaly based Training and Intermediate Choirs which provides an early choir opportunity for children in the first through third grades. She began directing the Melodia Men’s choir in 2003. She has been a music educator for 22 years in Oklahoma and Minnesota teaching elementary, middle school, and jr. high general and choral music. She has been an adjucator and workshop presenter and is currently teaching elementary music in the Mankato Public Schools
After completing a Bachelor of Music Education from Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City, she completed a Kodaly Certification with emphasis in choral conducting at the University of Oklahoma. She founded the Northern Hills Honor Choir in Edmond, Oklahoma which was selected to sing at the 1992 Oklahoma Music Educators Association annual conference in Oklahoma City. She also worked with Robert J. Ward and the Stillwater Boys Choir in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Leah and her husband Barry currently live in Mankato, Minnesota.
Kristin Baty, Director
Training and Intermediate Choir
Kristin is beginning her third year with MCC, directing the Training and Intermediate choirs. Kristin moved to Mankato in 2009 after teaching elementary vocal music in Edina, MN. There she also directed an extra-curricular choir and some African Drumming. Each summer Kristin assisted in directing a music and drama camp in Burnsville and directed the Children’s Choir for the Christmas program. This year she will be teaching elementary music at Hoover Elementary in North Mankato.
In 2006 Kristin graduated from Minnesota State University, Mankato with a dual degree in K-12 Music Education and K-8 Elementary Education. In 2009 She completed her Orff Music Certification from the University of St. Thomas which has helped her develop a passion for incorporating instruments, such as xylophone, recorder, and movement while teaching vocal music. It brings Kristin wonderful joy to make music with young hearts and voices!
Kristin lives in Mankato with her husband Steve and children Adelina and Eli and is looking forward to another fun year with MCC!