Meet the current members of DeCantus:

Ben Andreae
Bass (Festival, Holiday)

Bio coming soon.

Julie Bailey (née Pugaczewski)
Soprano (Festival, Holiday)

Julie discovered her love for singing and entertaining while attending Hill-Murray School, where she sang in multiple specialty ensembles, earned thirteen awards at state contests, and played roles including "Jenny Lind" in Barnum and "Laurey Williams" in Oklahoma!  She continued performing at the College of St. Catherine and the University of Minnesota, in numerous community theater productions, and in occasional guest performances such as "Dido" in a choral adaptation of Dido and Aeneas.  In 1997 Julie discovered a love of improvisational, intimate performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival where, in addition to singing with DeCantus, she plays a street character.  Julie is a founding member of DeCantus. 

Brian Bartsch
Bass (Holiday)

Bio coming soon.

Adam Cole
Tenor (Festival)

Adam has been singing and making music for as long as he can remember. He sang in choir all through high school and was a member of the Minnesota All-State Choir twice. He sang with the Chamber Singers at Tufts University in Boston before moving back to Minnesota to go to law school. Some of his singing highlights have been Bach's B-Minor Mass in college and Les Miserables in high school. Adam joined DeCantus in 2011 and also sings with Exultate.

Karissa Crouse
Mezzo Soprano (Holiday)

Karissa has been singing all of her life. As a recent graduate of Luther College, she has had a wide variety of musical experiences including choir tours, musicals and operas. Although her major was English with a minor in Education, she studied music to enrich her understanding of the art. Now, she is an English teacher at St. Croix Preparatory Academy in Stillwater. Joining DeCantus has helped her satiate her passion for singing in an intimate, a cappella setting. Karissa has been a member of DeCantus since 2014.

Patrick Gallagher
Tenor (Holiday)

Patrick was raised by a pack of wolves after he escaped his daycare at the age of 4. After years of surviving in the wilderness, he decided to become a civilized member of society. He failed in achieving this goal, but DeCantus are kind-hearted people and took him in anyway. That was back in 2013 and he still hasn't written a bio so until he does, this is the story we're sticking with.

Laurel Hove Tausend
Alto (Festival)

Laurel came to the big city from the farming community of Spring Valley, MN to study voice at the University of Minnesota. While there, she learned what it was to perform real music and sang with the Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Thomas Lancaster. She was a member of Exultate Chamber Chorus for several years and served as their Music Librarian. She is proud to say she is on many of their recordings including Handel's Messiah, Mozart's Grand Mass in C, Psalms and Songs, and They Shall have Rest. She joined DeCantus in 2003 and has loved every minute including making three of our CD's. (Which you should all own by the way!) Her voice is by far her best instrument but she also plays the piano and flute. When she's not trying to finish her Renaissance Festival costume, she spends time with her husband and two children and works as a retail manager.

Jennifer Lindquist
Mezzo Soprano (Festival)

Bio coming soon.

Shana Marchand
Mezzo Soprano (Festival, Holiday)

Shana has been a member of DeCantus since 2004. She attended Carleton College, where she majored in music with a focus on vocal performance. She also performed in the Carleton Singers for 3 years and studied voice with Margaret Brand and Ben Allen. After graduating from Carleton, she joined the Minnesota Chorale in 2004.

Sarah Melander
Mezzo Soprano (Holiday)

Sarah has a tendency to sing Christmas songs all day, every day, from Thanksgiving until January. So, joining DeCantus for the holiday season is a perfect fit! Besides carols, Sarah has had the good fortune of singing with various groups and theater companies throughout the Midwest, including the Bloomington Civic Theatre, St. Anthony Park Players, and the Dale Warland Singers.

Cassandra Olson
Alto (Holiday)

Cassandra joined DeCantus for the Holiday season in 2012. She grew up singing and playing violin. She sang with Robbinsdale Cooper's Chamber Singers and has performed in Guys and Dolls, Bye Bye Birdie and West Side Story. Cassandra has spent the last few years perfecting her lullabies and nursery rhymes for her two children. She can't wait to perform beautiful music with DeCantus again.

Holli Richgels
Soprano (Festival)

Holli is elated to join DeCantus for the 2016 season. Holli has a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Musical Theatre and Dance and has performed in numerous musicals around the Twin Cities the past 3 years. Some of her favorites include: Sarah Brown (Guys and Dolls), Kathy Selden (Singin in the Rain), Dawn/Imogene (The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas) Maria (The Sound of Music), Columbia (The Rocky Horror Picture Show) and many more. Holli would like to thank her family and friends for their love and support, especially her boyfriend Jared. "Enjoy the show!"

Liz Schlesky
Alto (Holiday)

Liz started her professional musical career by joining DeCantus in 2010. Prior to that, she had been an enthusiastic amateur, dabbling in music wherever she saw an opportunity. This included a few years playing the trombone and singing in choir in grade school, singing in the chorus of theatrical performances in junior high, joining the marching band in high school, and many years of singing in the congregation at church. She even made it to the finals in a singing contest for all the passengers on a recent cruise! She also has been a member of the street cast of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival since 2003. In addition to street entertainment, she spent six years with Mayor’s Entourage, acting as co-Director and leading the group in daily singing lessons, and two years with the Royal Navy Experience stage show.

Chris Sibilia
Tenor (Festival, Holiday)

Chris has been singing for most of his life. Early on, he was a soloist with the New Jersey All-State Chorus and performed in the New Jersey State Opera's 1977 productions of CavalleriaRusticana and I Pagliacci with James McCracken and their 1980 production of Aida with Placido Domingo. While studying, he sang and performed internationally with the Princeton Madrigal Society as well as the University's Early Music group, Musica Alta. A graduate of the Yale School of Drama, he was also featured as a soloist while singing with the Yale Collegium Musicum and the Connecticut Hebrew Chorale. Since moving to the Twin Cities in 1994, Chris has supplemented his day job as a staff member at Minneapolis's renowned Guthrie Theater with choral singing in several community groups, all the while serving as Tenor Section Leader with the choir of St. Matthew's Episcopal Church, St. Paul.

Casey Skaarup
Alto (Fesitval)

Casey has been a musician and performer for most of her life. She was always involved in school musicals in some facet, be it pit orchestra or a chorus member. In her adult life, her main focus has been playing French horn in Brio Brass. She has been performing at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival as a member of the Royal Trumpets since 2011 and joined DeCantus in the 2016 season.

Dan Skaarup
Bass (Festival, Holiday)

Born to and raised by a very musical family in Germany, Dan has been singing since the age of four. After moving to Minnesota in 2000, he has sung in high school in which he served as section leader for three years and received an honorable achievement award, two church choirs, the MMEA Men's All-State choir and Augsburg College Cedar Singers. He also performed with the Augsburg College Choir in which he served as both section leader and ensemble manager as well as in Schola Goliardi under the direction of Jordan Sramek, founder of the world-renowned Rose Ensemble. He graduated in May of 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. Dan has sung all across the United States, Canada, Germany, Austria, China, and Hong Kong, and has performed on stage in Our Town, Anything Goes, and The Fantasticks. He has been with DeCantus since 2010.

Click here for a list of alumni members of DeCantus

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