Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and Jean Sébastien Vallée Welcome Six Rising Conductors to Take the Podium

Toronto, March 25th, 2024 —
The Toronto Mendelssohn Choir announces their 2024 Take the Podium: Conducting Symposium participants. Six up-and-coming conductors will take the podium under the leadership of Jean-Sébastien Vallée for a series of workshops and masterclasses for the TMChoir’s 15th Symposium.

About the symposium:
This annual symposium offers an invaluable opportunity for emerging conductors from across the globe to work with artistic director and conductor Jean-Sébastien Vallée and the full TMChoir for a five-day masterclass.  Participants will have the rare experience of conducting the 160 voices of the TMChoir, including the 24-voice professional ensemble, the TMSingers, in rehearsals throughout the week, culminating in a final performance, free to the public.

The final performance:
The Symposium concludes with a concert on May 25th, 2024 at 3:00pm EST at Yorkminster Park Baptist Church. The program includes  Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem, Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, and works by Lili Boulanger, Mel Bonis and a commission by TMChoir composer-in-residence, Tracy Wong. Free tickets to attend in-person will be available online and at the door.

Six Emerging Conductors Take the Podium:

Michael Denomme (Toronto)
Michael Denomme is a Canadian musician, educator, conductor and performer, holding a Bachelor of Music with honorary standing from the University of Toronto. With a background in classical piano and music education, he is currently studying choral conducting at the Masters level with Dr. Jamie Hillman at the University of Toronto.

Klaudia Zając (Brussels)
Klaudia Zając is a Polish conductor and singer. She first studied piano and classical singing at the W. Żeleński State Music School in Kraków. She graduated with honours in conducting at the Academy of Music in Krakow and at Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien in Hannover.

Shohel Kobayashi (Portland)
Based in the United States, Shohei Kobayashi is Director of Choral Studies and Assistant Professor of Music at Reed College in Portland, Oregon and serves as Co-Artistic Advisor and Associate Conductor for Resonance Ensemble.

Matheus Coelho (Toronto)
Matheus Coelho is a Brazilian-born conductor, baritone and clarinettist. With engagements in symphonic, choral, operatic and popular music, Matheus has been trained in multifaceted settings that correspond to his versatile performance style and production.

Jamison Stevens (Redlands)
Jamison Stevens is a conductor and composer from Redlands, California. He is currently finishing a Master’s of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Redlands.

Heeseong Lee (Los Angeles)
Heeseong Lee, a native of South Korea, is a DMA student in Choral Music, minoring in Instrumental Conducting and Organ at the University of Southern California. She is currently the director of the Los Angeles Full Gospel Church Choir and assistant conductor of the Los Angeles Zimyiah Choral and Korean Community Christian Singers in Los Angeles.

The TMChoir also announces Justin Lapierre as the 2024 winner of the Debbie Fleming Prize for the Choral Composition Competition. Justin Lapierre is an Ottawa-based choral composer; he holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and a Master of Music degree in Composition from the University of Toronto. His compositions, which often explore themes pertaining to his French-Canadian heritage, have been performed by many notable ensembles including the Canadian Chamber Choir, the DaCapo Chamber Choir, and the Menno Singers, among others. His winning work, Lux Aeterna, will be performed at the Symposium.