Hannah Bretz is an experienced nonprofit manager with a background in music. Prior to her role as the Executive Director of the Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Bretz owned HB Digital Marketing, a marketing and business consulting agency. She was also the Director of the Fremont Health Foundation and a Major Gift Officer for Drake University Law School.
Hannah Bretz earned a BA in Jazz Studies from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. She studied with Patricia Barber (voice), Mike Molloy (voice), Andrew Distel (voice), Rob Parton (trumpet, music business), Tito Carillo (trumpet), John McLean (guitar), Tom Garling (trombone, composition), and Scott Mason (bass, piano). She had the opportunity to complete a master class with Kurt Elling, and has shared the stage with Darmon Meader of the New York Voices.
While in Chicago, Bretz was a member of Downbeat Magazine award-winning vocal ensemble, The New Deal. She regularly performed onstage at legendary jazz venues the Jazz Showcase and Fitzgerald's, and was a guest vocalist with Rob Parton's JAZZTECH Big Band.
Bretz was an instructor of classical voice in the Drake University Community School of Music (DUCSOM) in Des Moines, Iowa. During this time she was a regular vocalist with the Steve Charlson Trio.
Bretz grew up in West Des Moines, Iowa and first fell in love with jazz music while singing in the vocal music department at Valley High School, which earned the first ever GRAMMY® Signature School award in 1999. She was a member of the premier vocal jazz ensemble, Vocalese, Valley Singers, and A Capella Choir. Bretz is an alumni of the Iowa All-State Jazz Choir (2001), Iowa Ambassadors of Music European Tour (2000), Iowa All-State Music Festival (Chorus, multiple years), and a competing vocalist in the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). She studied classical voice under Leanne Freeman-Miller at Drake University.