Aliro Voices is a chamber choir dedicated to innovative, engaging, and accessible performances. The choir focuses on new or under-performed music from all eras, and often finds new or unusual performance spaces.
With passion for music as our igniting force, Aliro Voices seeks to challenge the boundaries of musical experience through innovative programs that engage and inspire audiences and performers alike.
We believe that in order to be relevant, we must continue to advance the art of choral singing. We focus on new music by emerging composers and under-performed music from all eras in order to push the boundaries of our art. We also often perform in unique settings.
We believe that accessibility in our music is important. We push the boundaries of our art, but we bring our audience with us by teaching about the music that we perform and providing resources for understanding.
- Musical excellence
We never allow ourselves to settle or to be satisfied with our performances, and we are always pushing ourselves to improve our art.
- Shared community
We are committed to both 1) a strong internal community within the choir, with a model of shared leadership, and 2) a shared responsibility for the greater community, with regular efforts to give back.
Jennifer Van Nevel
Ian A. Cook
Maxwell R. Lafontant
Artistic Director Kurt Hattenberger
Kurt Hattenberger is a Twin Cities-based performer, arranger, and composer living in Minneapolis, MN. Kurt is a lover of, and advocate for, new music, and is an active performer, both as a vocalist and classical saxophonist. In addition to Aliro Voices, he regularly performs throughout the Twin Cities area in wind ensembles, symphony orchestras, theater pit orchestras, chamber groups including saxophone quartet, and with the Minneapolis-based chamber choir MPLS (imPulse).
Kurt holds a master’s degree in saxophone performance from the University of Minnesota, where he studied with Dr. Eugene Rousseau and Dr. Preston Duncan. He began singing while earning his undergraduate degree in instrumental music education at St. Olaf College. Kurt joined the bass section of Aliro Voices in the winter of 2013, and took over as director in the spring of 2017.
Outside of music, Kurt enjoys hiking, backpacking, canoeing, and other outdoor activities, reads voraciously, and can be found at weekly meetings of bar trivia.
Aliro Voices was founded as the State Fair Singers by Sam Kjellberg in the summer of 2012. When it was clear that the group would continue to sing even after the completion of the Minnesota State Fair, the choir was renamed to Academy of Voices. The group became a home for young adults who had recently graduated from college but wished to continue singing, a demographic which is often under-served. Sam Kjellberg made it his mission to find exciting new or unknown works for choir and bring them to new audiences, often in new places such as the Minneapolis library and the University of Minnesota School of Architecture. In the autumn of 2013, the ensemble came under the direction of Michael Jeffrey. In 2015, the choir set forth a mission statement and core values to guide the group’s work moving forward, and in 2016, the choir renamed to Aliro Voices. In the spring of 2017, the ensemble came under the direction of Kurt Hattenberger. The ensemble has performed for the Schubert Club, and has been featured on Minnesota Public Radio under the Regional Spotlight. The choir continues its original work of bringing new music to new audiences in new spaces.