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My Story Started at GRCC: Educator Amanda Quist works with music students around the world.

Nov. 29, 2021, GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- Start at GRCC and go anywhere. Every former student has a story to tell about how GRCC gave them the education and opportunity to be successful.

While she grew up surrounded by music – her father was an organist – Amanda Quist enrolled at GRCC with plans to major in psychology with a minor in music.

“I found myself spending all of my free time in the music building and realized that is where I belonged,” she said in a 2018 interview with the National Association for Music Education.

Quist still spends most of her time in music buildings of various kinds – on college campuses and in cities around the world – leading and teaching choral students.

She fell in love with choral music during her senior year of high school, when she sang in the All-State Honor Choir.

“One afternoon, my conductor stepped away from teaching to pick up some materials and asked me to conduct the choir,” she said in the 2018 interview. “I felt as if I had stepped into myself in that moment.”

After attending GRCC, Quist went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in music education and a master’s in choral conducting from Western Michigan University and a doctorate in choral conducting from the University of North Texas.

Quist has worked with music students in colleges, K-12 schools and touring choirs. When she was chair of the Conducting, Organ and Sacred Music Department at Rider University’s Westminster Choir College, the Westminster Kantorei, she won the 2018 American Prize for College and University Choral Performance. The group performed at the Boston Early Music Festival, the American Handel Festival and Interkultur, and made its first commercial recording in 2017.

She is now director of choral activities for the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music in Florida, recognized as one of the nation’s top master’s music programs. Billboard magazine ranked the Frost school as the Top Music Business School.

She directs the choral conducting graduate program and conducts the award-winning Frost Chorale and Bella Voce. Under her leadership, the Frost Chorale has performed with the New World Symphony and has been asked by composer Elain Hagenberg to record her music.

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