Heartfelt BIOS

Denise Cochran is the prime instigator behind Heartfelt, a retired school counselor, friend to all, and lover of props.  She has been singing since childhood, with her debut in elementary school singing, “Ragtime Cowboy Joe”, with her next door neighbor.  In Junior high school, after seeing The Beatles at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, she bought her first guitar and formed a group called, “The Hooters.”  She has sung in choirs and ensembles all over the world when working internationally, and joined Twin Cities Women’s Choir at the suggestion of her therapist to get happier.  Since retirement she volunteers using music and her therapy dog Sonny. Puppy, Fanny, is not ready for prime time. Heartfelt is the icing on the cupcake of the various choirs she participates in. Husband, Tim Dickson, is webmaster and occasional videographer for Heartfelt. 

Emily Hager-Garman grew up singing in church and school choirs, has played percussion since middle school, and sang in Minnesota’s All State Choir. While attending Hamline University, she sang in their cappella choir. Emily studied abroad in Ghana where she learned Ghanaian drumming, gyil, and traditional dance; this led to a favorite musical moment when friends from Ghana (in a dance troupe called Sakuumu) performed in concert with the Twin Cities Women’s Choir! Emily dabbles in data as the Director of Research & Evaluation at a regional nonprofit. She enjoys spending time with her family (including her dancing and singing toddler and new baby) and is glad to be singing and drumming with Heartfelt!

Mara Hennen has been singing since she was in kindergarten.  Joining TCWC and then meeting the women of Heartfelt has been one of the more serendipitous occasions in her adult life so far; the intergenerational wisdom of TCWC and now Heartfelt is one of Mara’s favorite aspects of both groups.  By day she is an accountant for a non-profit organization.  She met her husband Bryan clearing trails for hikers in the Boundary Waters, and they have recently welcomed their son, Wilder.  They love all the wonderful parks and trails in the Twin Cities and are working toward their goal to visit every US National Park.

Lisa Holden started singing with her sisters at a very young age while her mom accompanied them on ukulele and taught them harmonies. She performed in high school and college musical theater and choral groups. Currently she sings with the Twin Cities Women’s Choir and was a member of ENCORE for many years. She also sings with her church choir. Lisa is a retired vocational rehabilitation counselor and she currently works part time as a certified ASL interpreter. In the summers Lisa tends a large organic vegetable garden. Water aerobics, yoga and walking keep her active. Most days you’ll find her doing watercolor painting as well.

Katie Larson has been singing all her life, from German carols around the piano as a child, to church choirs, high school, college, and community choirs.  She has been active in the Twin Cities Women’s Choir since 2011, and a member of the 24-member auditioned group Encore! for at least half her tenure.  When not singing, Katie helps guests navigate the system at a local hospital, loves to travel, see live music, seek out new restaurants, and kayak with her husband Chaz on local lakes and waterways.

Diana van Deusen is the longest-running professional singer in the group, having performed at Disney World in her girl group “Sugar ‘n’ Spice” and at Hershey Park as part of “The Edwardians”.  She majored in music for a time at the University of Iowa, and in 1998 appeared on Wheel Of Fortune, where she won $50,000.  She was a TCWC and Encore member from 2007 to 2016 and enjoys adding choreography and American Sign Language to Heartfelt’s performances.  She is a retired audiologist, and these days enjoys tending to her garden, nature photography and spending time with her two granddaughters.

Frank Cirrin (guitar) is husband to Diana.  He is a retired professor and speech language pathologist who provides occasional accompaniment to Heartfelt on guitar.   He has played guitar since high school and was at Woodstock in 1969!  His main pastime these days is looking for new toys and play sets for his granddaughters.