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FREE Courtroom Concert featuring Songs of the Season, Carols of MN Composers

Named “most imaginative classical holiday program” by the Star Tribune, and performed to overflow audiences for the past six years, The Schubert Club’s annual Songs for the Season program features winter songs and carols by more than a dozen Minnesota composers and songwriters. This year’s program features music composed and arranged by Abbie Betinis, Bob Dylan, Jayanthi Kyle, Neal & Leandra, and even John Denver, who temporarily made Minnesota home.

This year, due to audience demand, we’re expanding to add a second performance at the historic Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Saint Paul.  Both concerts will be free and open to the public.

Curated and hosted by Abbie Betinis

Praised in The New York Times as “graceful,” “consistently stylish” (Boston Globe), and a “cool, precise soprano” (Chicago Tribune), Carrie Henneman Shaw is a two-time winner of the McKnight Fellowship for Musicians (2010, 2017). She has premiered major works by such Minnesota composers as Jocelyn Hagen and Abbie Betinis, and performed American premieres of works by Georg Friedrich Haas, Hans Thomalla, and Augusta Read Thomas. In addition to being an interpreter of contemporary and experimental music, Carrie specializes in music of the 17th century and has performed operatic roles with America’s leading Baroque opera company, Boston Early Music Festival. Carrie is a member of Chicago’s Ensemble Dal Niente and Quince Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. She holds degrees in English and voice performance from Lawrence University and a doctorate from the University of Minnesota. Carrie is an instructor at Winona State University and Bethel University.

Laura Betinis Healy, mezzo, praised for her “particularly rich tone” (The Tech, MIT), made “all the more beautiful by the edge of folk styling” (Boston Musical Intelligencer), has performed with chamber and choral ensembles throughout the Northeast and Midwest. As an active soloist in the Boston area, Laura has been featured with the Oriana Consort, King’s Chapel Choir, and Cappella Clausura, with whom she recorded The Complete Vespers of Cozzolani, and appeared as Anima (“the soul”) in the staged Hildegard von Bingen opera Ordo Virtutum. In 2015, Laura premiered her sister Abbie’s new Christmas carol on Minnesota Public Radio, along with jazz pianist Anthony Healy, and soprano Carrie Henneman Shaw. Last year, Laura appeared on the Minnesota Orchestra’s Inside the Classics program. A graduate of Ithaca College with degrees in Music and English, she currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Nicholas Chalmers, tenor, has sung with The Rose Ensemble, The Bach Society of Minnesota and Lyra Baroque Orchestra, the Minnesota Bach Ensemble, Glorious Revolution Baroque, The Singers-Minnesota Choral Artists, and the Minnesota Chorale. Recent solo engagements include Oratory, Magnum Chorum, the Church Music Association of America, and the St. Mark’s Cathedral Concert Series. Last spring, Nicholas concluded his Master’s studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Minnesota, where he conducted several campus ensembles and held a Teacher’s Assistant position in the music theory department. Nicholas is Director of Music at Chesterton Academy, Director of Music at Annunciation Church in South Minneapolis, and Artistic Director of the Mirandola Ensemble, which presents programs of rarely performed early music from the Medieval and Renaissance eras strategically juxtaposed with the compositions of 20th and 21st century composers.

Timothy C. Takach, bass, enjoys a busy and varied career as a composer, singer and clinician. As a full-time composer, Timothy has a healthy schedule of commissioned work, and his work has been called “gorgeous” (Washington Post) and “eventful” (Star Tribune). A co-founder and longtime member of Cantus, he has also performed with VocalEssence, Seraphic Fire, the SPCO Chorale and many other vocal ensembles. He is co-founder and vice president of Graphite Publishing and a founding member of the Independent Music Publishers Cooperative. Timothy graduated with honors from St. Olaf College with degrees in Music Composition and Art.

View the Frequently Asked Questions about the Courtroom Concerts.

About the Host

Composer Abbie Betinis writes music called “inventive, richly melodic” (The New York Times), “superb, whirling, soaring” (Tacoma News Tribune), and “the highlight” of the program (Boston Globe).  With over 50 commissioned works for ensembles such as Cantus, the New England Philharmonic, and The Rose Ensemble, Abbie has been awarded a McKnight Composer Fellowship, grants from the American Composers Forum, ASCAP, and Jerome Foundation, and was recently listed in NPR Music’s Top 100 Composers Under 40.  A resident of Saint Paul, she is adjunct professor of composition at Concordia University, and was composer-in-residence with the Schubert Club from 2005-2017.

Ticket Info

Free admission

Seating is limited and first come first served. Doors open at 11:30. Please call if you are attending as a group of 10 or more (651.292.3267).


Abbie Betinis — Carol of the Stranger

Linda Kachelmeier — Inside a Gift (from I Give Voice to My Mother)
Richard Rasch — There is No Rose
Isaac Lovdahl — Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming *
Libby Larsen — Novum Gaudium

Elizabeth Alexander — The Gate Is Open
Emily Feld — A Stranger and a King *
John McCutcheon — Footprints
Neal Hagberg — Fool

Neal Hagberg — It Happened Once
Timothy C. Takach — Joseph
John Denver — A Baby Just Like You
Neal Hagberg — Joseph’s Lullaby

Holst/arr.Abbie Betinis — In the Bleak Midwinter [evening only]
Bob Dylan — Ring Them Bells
Leandra Peak — Welcome Friend [evening only]
Neal Hagberg — Listen to the Angels

* = world premiere


Featuring Singer/Songwriter Neal Hagberg, with Brian Barnes, guitar

Carrie Henneman Shaw, soprano
Laura Betinis Healy, mezzo-soprano
Nicholas Chalmers, tenor
Timothy C. Takach, bass

Special guests (evening show only):
Central Presbyterian Church Choir
organ: Jennifer Anderson, organ
piano: Steve Swanson, piano