The music of Winona State University alumnus Jake Runestad ’09 has been nominated for a 2020 GRAMMY® award for “Best Choral Performance.” Recorded by GRAMMY-winning professional choir Conspirare, the album “The Hope of Loving” is the first full-album dedicated to the music of Minnesota composer Jake Runestad. 


Conspirare’s artistic director Craig Hella Johnson reflected, “Wow, what a joy and tremendous honor to be nominated in this category with such a distinguished group of fellow nominees. I am very proud of all of the Conspirare artists for their beautiful performances and so grateful to Jake Runestad for his extraordinary music. We are excited about the opportunity to share this music with a broader audience around the world.” 


Jake Runestad was present for the recording process in Austin, Texas and was deeply involved in the album’s creation. On news of the nomination announcement, Jake said, “This is a dream come true! I’m so proud of Craig and the entire Conspirare family for bringing such depth and beauty to ‘The Hope of Loving.’ My heart is overflowing with joy.”


One of the youngest full-time composers in the world, Jake Runestad has received thousands of performances across six continents from ensembles and organizations such as Washington National Opera, the Dallas Symphony Chorus & Orchestra, the Swedish Radio Symphony, the Netherlands Radio Choir, VOCES8, and in renowned halls including Carnegie Hall, the Whitehouse (for the Obamas), the Sistine Chapel (for the pope), Los Angeles’ Disney Hall, and the Sydney Opera House. 


The 62nd GRAMMY Awards ceremony will be held on January 26, 2020, hosted by Alicia Keys. Nominations were announced by the Recording Academy on November 20th. This is Conspirare’s ninth nomination, and the first nomination for an album of Runestad’s music. 


For more information contact the Winona State University Marketing and Communications office at 507-457-5024. 


About Winona State University

Founded in 1858, Winona State University is a comprehensive, regional public university with over 7,600 students on campuses in Winona and Rochester. Around half of WSU students are first-generation, meaning neither parent has a four-year bachelor’s degree. The oldest member of the Minnesota State system, WSU offers more than 80 undergraduate, pre-professional, licensure, graduate and doctorate programs in five colleges: Business, Education, Liberal Arts, Nursing & Health Sciences, and Science & Engineering.

Winona State is ranked as the second public institution in Minnesota by U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Colleges,” has been named among the “Best in the Midwest” by The Princeton Review for 16 years in a row, and has been featured as one of America’s 100 Best College Buys for quality and value for 24 consecutive years. The University generates $447.9 million in economic impact for the region per year. The University’s mission is to enhance the intellectual, social, cultural and economic vitality of the people and communities we serve: a community of learners improving our world. For more information, visit