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Artistic Director References

Bruce W. Becker
Executive Director,
ACDA of Minnesota

"I have know Al (Hawkins) since the beginning of his teaching career some 25+ years ago in southern Minnesota.  Since that time he has expanded his love of choral music education and working with people of all age groups and founded Deo Cantamus, a successful choral institue with miltiple ensembles situated within 

 the western suburbs of the Twin Cities.  His creative zeal, innovative programming and educational outreach, positive people skills, and careful attention to financial stability have positioned the organization into a strong and vibrant institution."

Dr. Matthew J. Olson
Artistic & Managing Director, Bach Roots Festival 
Assistant Conductor of The Singers - Minnesota Choral Artists
Director of Choral Activities, Carlton College

"Mr. Hawkins is a master choral educator - one whose excellent musicianship is only surpassed by his servanthood to score and student alike.  

I know no greater testament to (Al) than the fact that I continue to learn from his exceptional teaching some 15 years after being his student. Many fine educators have high expectations for their students, but Mr. Hawkins pairs great expectations with masterful pedagogy and methodology which enable his students to ever-deepen their learning."

Dr. Brian A. Schmidt
Founder and Artistic Director,
South Dakota Chorale 
Associate Professor of Choral Music, Baylor University

"Choral music and singing require lifelong development and the cultivation of these skills fosters the growth of our human spirit. Mr. Hawkins is one of those special teachers who 

positively influenced my affinity for choral music, long before I considered it as a profession." 

Lila Olson
Private Voice Instructor

"As a private voice teacher I am always looking for a choral director to recommend for my students. It is very difficult to find conductors who understand healthy singing and consider it a necessary component in their concept of beautiful choral sound. In Al Hawkins I found not only that, but a rare balance of organizational ability, extensive musical knowledge, leadership

and people skills. Singers of all ages make incredible sacrifices to participate in his projects. Some gladly travel great distances for the opportunity to sing under his direction."

Sandy Stugelmeyer
MA Music Education
Worship Leader
Grateful Parent

"As the parent of one of Al Hawkins’ former high school choral students, I am glad to know that he will be sharing his music-evoking skills with others. It was a privilege for my daughter to learn vocal technique and musical expression from him. He gave her an appreciation for the 

beauty and inspiration found in choral music performed well."

Dr. Matthew Ferrell
Director of Choral Activities,
St. Cloud State University

"Mr. Hawkins is an exceptional musician, a methodical teacher and an outstanding colleague. His students respond well to his positive demeanor and are enthusiastic to sing for him. His performances go beyond the notes on the page to achieve musical sensitivity and 

expressivity. He understands healthy singing and selects repertoire that challenges his students while allowing them to feel success and pride."

Dr. David W. Donelson
Director of Choral Activities,
Crown College

“Both in the classroom, private studio and rehearsal hall, Al (Hawkins) is a dynamic and powerful communicator who possesses the gift of being able to make his musical desires known. In spite of this formidable gifts, he is a humble and approachable person who loves to share his extensive knowledge with others....I

John Weigle
Music Pastor
Faith Baptist Church of Warren, MI

"Al's conducting has motivated me to perform musically, as a Deo Cantamus singer, with insight, understanding and correct technique. I've always felt that singing under his directing has equipped me with tools to use with the choirs I lead."

have attended several Deo Cantamus performances.  This fine ensemble sings with utmost precision, excellent tone quality, and beautiful phraisng and line.This is all possible because of Al."

Dr. Joshua Bauder

"Al Hawkins' voluminous experience with choral groups of all ages is evidenced by his commitment to worthwhile repertoire, healthy vocal technique, and genuinely educational rehearsals. Under his baton students do more than perform - they grow into sensitive musicians."

Dr.Kirk Moss
Chair, Department of Music and Theatre, University of Northwestern-St. Paul

"...The musicians of Deo Cantumus willingly choose to commit their time and talent to the organization due to Al’s artistic leadership, professionalism and caring rapport. In short, Al 'gets it'..."

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