Meet Our Staff
Mary Kay Knapp, Artistic Director
Mary Kay Knapp, Artistic Director of Women of Song, retired from the Vocal Music staff at Iowa City West High School in 2012 after 33 years of teaching. During those years, she had the privilege to serve every age of singer from children through adults. Ms. Knapp graduated with a B.A. degree in Music/Music Education from Clarke College in Dubuque, IA., and completed a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. She has been a choir conductor, clinician, and adjudicator for choral events around the Midwest, and in addition to Women of Song, she currently conducts the Adult Choir at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in Wayzata; a parish known for its dynamic liturgies and diverse music program.
As an active member of the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Ms. Knapp served on the ICDA board in various leadership positions. She co-chaired, presided, and presented at the ICDA Summer Symposiums, and had the distinct joy of conducting the 2001 ICDA 7th-8th Grade Girls State Opus Honor Choir. Ms. Knapp's choirs have been recognized with superior ratings at the state and national levels, and she has been honored twice with recognition in “Who’s Who of American Teachers.”
Since her tenure in Minnesota has begun, Ms. Knapp has sung in seven different Twin Cities ensembles. She has also conducted the Prelude Children’s Choir of the Minnesota Chorale, and the Youth and Children’s Choirs at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal Church in St. Paul. Prelude was honored to perform for the 2016 Minnesota Music Educators Conference. She has also served as a supervising teacher for a student teacher from the University of Iowa, and currently teaches voice and piano lessons.
Ms. Knapp feels privileged to work with the talented singers of Women of Song, and is committed to sharing the finest music that expresses the unique and beautiful qualities of the female voice. It is her hope that Women of Song will inspire and uplift audiences, and be an enriching force for all who hear us.
Mary Fadden, Accompanist
Mary Fadden has accompanied the Women of Song (formerly Wayzata Women’s Chorus) for 20+ years. She loves the passion they bring to their music, their community and caring for each other, and the beauty of women’s voices united in making music.
Mary began her formal piano studies at St. Olaf College then transferred to and received a degree in Music Therapy & Piano Performance from the University of Minnesota. She is the staff accompanist at Wayzata High School, working with choirs on a daily basis and accompanying band and orchestra students for contests and auditions at various times during the school year. Mary also serves as accompanist and keyboardist at Wayzata Free Church, playing on worship team and accompanying the choir.
She maintains an active piano studio in her home in Wayzata. Her students participate in MMTA activities, where she is active in volunteer work, committee work and serves as a judge. Mary accompanies a variety of singers and works with several voice studios in the area, playing for coaching sessions, auditions and recital work. She loves the variety of ages and stages of musicians she is blessed to work with along with the mixture of 1:1 piano to playing for large ensembles—every day is different.
When she’s not teaching or playing piano, she loves spending time with her husband and 4 adult children and their families!