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Young Conductors Mentoring Program

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2017-18 Young Conductors
Bella Voce continually supports me as a young woman singer and choral conductor and is invaluable to my growth in musical confidence because of the many singing and conducting opportunities that are offered. I love working with these amazing Vermont women of varied ages and backgrounds!
Chelsie Henderson, UVM ’07, BS Music Education
Conducting Intern Chelsie Henderson
The Bella Voce Women’s Chorus Mentoring Program offers women the unique opportunity to advance in their musical careers through a supportive mentoring program that provides a variety of leadership experiences and direct feedback and instruction by multiple professionals for each step of their development from rehearsal preparation through performance.

Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont was founded in 2004 by Dr. Dawn O. Willis. Within the first year, Dr. Willis identified the need in the community for intern and mentorship opportunities for young women, particularly music education majors at local colleges. Through this program, Bella Voce supports 3-5 Mentoring Program Members (MPMs) each year who seek to become professional conductors, music educators and/or accompanists. This program is primarily for college students with vocal talent who are also interested in becoming professional accompanists and/or choral conductors or educators.
(pictured above: Chelsie Henderson)
Conducting Intern Kate McCrea leading warm-ups
The Conducting Intern and Assistant Accompanist will be provided with at least one major performance opportunity during the Bella Voce season. The Conducting Intern presents at least one music foundations lesson to the chorus. Mentoring Program Members may act as chorus section leaders. The Conducting and Accompanist Interns will be part of the Music Leadership Team. Through this program, the members will build leadership, conducting and accompanist skills, gain an understanding of the skills needed to run a choral program and build qualifications for employment and further education.
(pictured right: Karlie Kauffeld)

Dr. Dawn Willis gives condcting intern Heather Aube some last minute tips at a dress rehearsal
Dr. Dawn O. Willis works one-on-one with each MPM to assist members with repertoire – from explaining the rationale for her selections to specifics to enhance performance of both the chorus and accompanists.

(pictured left: Dawn Willis and Heather Aubé)

Bella Voce Women’s Chorus of Vermont has openings for collegiate female vocalists considering careers in conducting or music education.
  • Sing with an auditioned choir of 45 women. (rehearsals Monday nights at Essex High School, 7 - 9:30 pm)
  • Develop leadership skills
  • Participate in high quality musical performances!
For more information, contact Dr. Dawn Willis, Bella Voce Director at

Read an article about our mentoring program Seven Days