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About the Director, Tonya Barnes


Tonya Barnes taught choral music for 17 years at North-Linn Community School District, Iowa, St. Francis High School, Princeton High School, and North Branch High School. She is a graduate of Cornell College, Iowa, where she received her degree in Vocal Music Education. Tonya earned her Master’s Degree in Music Education from North Dakota State University in August of 2020.

In addition to conducting the Northern Lights Chorale, Tonya directs Unum Vox, a high school honor choir sponsored by the East Central Minnesota Chorale.  She is an active guest clinician, adjudicator, and singer throughout the metro.

Tonya is an active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Minnesota Music Educators Association (MMEA), and the National Association of Teachers of Singing. In January of 2019, she was elected Choral Vice President for MMEA where she was responsible for the organization of the All-State choir experience. From December of 2021 to September of 2022, she served as President of MMEA helping the organization thrive and grow.


When she is not involved in directing or performing, she works as a Key Account Manager with an information security firm and she loves to spend time with her husband, Ben and their two children, Nolan and Elliana.

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