Choral and Voice Faculty


Lawrence Burnett
Lawrence Burnett Profile
Professor of Music and Choral Director

Lawrence Burnett holds a BM degree in vocal music education from Texas A & I University, a MM degree in choral conducting, vocal pedagogy, and vocal performance from Eastern New Mexico University, and a doctoral degree in choral conducting from the University of Texas. His professional background includes solo and stage work with numerous orchestras, choruses, and festivals throughout the country. In 1992, he was awarded the Governor's Award for African-Americans of Distinction in New York State. He is a member of many professional music organizations, including the Music Educators National Conference and the American Choral Directors Association, for which he has served as state, regional, and national chair of the Repertoire and Standards Committee on Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives. For more information, visit his web page.

Benjamin Allen
Ben Allen Profile
Senior Lecturer in Voice

Benjamin Allen holds a B.M. Ed. From Wartburg College with graduate work at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. He has studied with C. Robert Larson, Donna Pegors, Lawrence Weller, and in New York City, with Bernard Taylor. As a soloist, he has performed with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Plymouth Music Series, Minnesota Opera, Duluth-Superior Symphony and numerous local and regional groups. He was a featured soloist at the Casals Festival with the Detroit Symphony and has taught at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the Minnesota Center for Arts Education and at the International Music Camp. Mr. Allen also maintains a voice studio at Bethel College.

Patricia Kent
Patricia Kent Profile
Lecturer in Voice

Patricia Kent has performed in the Midwest and on the East Coast in repertoire from medieval mystery plays with alumni of the New York Pro Musica, to concert work such as Verdi's Requiem with the Wooster (OH) Symphony, Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Mahler's Second Symphony with the Duluth Superior Symphony, and Bach's Christmas Oratorio with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra under Christopher Hogwood. Kent has also performed as soprano soloist with the SPCO under Joel Revzen, Hugh Wolff, and John Harbison, and with the Minnesota Orchestra under Joseph Silverstein. She has sung with many regional organizations, including the Lyra Concert, the Rochester Symphony, the Macalester Festival Chorale, the Oratorio Society of Minnesota, and Ex Machina. In 1999, Kent made her European debut in the London performance of Mendelssohn's Elijah under conductor Benjamin Pope. Patricia has recorded a compact disc of the songs of Fanny and Felix Mendelssohn, with pianist Robert Koopmann, OSB entitled "All in the Family." She has been a member of the voice faculty at CSB/SJU for 18 years.

Mary Martz
Mary Martz Profile
Senior Lecturer in Voice

Mary Martz received her degree in Music Education and Performance with a minor in speech therapy from Moorhead State University. She has an extensive performance background in opera theatre with the Minnesota Opera, Minnesota Opera Touring Company, regional opera companies, as well as numerous oratorio and recital stages. During her many years of classroom and private studio instruction she has taught at the New York State NYSSSA Choral Studies program and is an adjunct instructor in voice at St. Olaf College.

Rick Penning
Rick Penning Profile
Senior Lecturer in Voice

Rick Penning holds degrees from Luther College (B.A.), the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati (M.M.), the School of Music at the University of Minnesota (D.M.A.). He has a wide range of performing experience including operatic roles and concert appearances with leading American regional opera companies, orchestras and choral ensembles. In addition, he has served as the Interim Music Director at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Mark, conducting the highly regarded Cathedral Choir in Sunday services and Concert Evensongs with orchestra and brass. He also maintains voice studios at Augsburg College and at his home.


Thomas Bartsch
Collaborative Pianist - Vocal