CHARLENE PAULS, CONDUCTOR
Dr. Charlene Pauls has enjoyed a varied musical career as a choral conductor, soprano soloist, clinician, adjudicator, academic, and pedagogue. Drawing on this extensive background, Dr. Pauls has developed a holistic approach in guiding singers to create a more beautiful, healthy, and well-crafted choral sound, regardless of age.
Over the course of her career, she has directed a wide range of adult, university and youth choirs. Under her direction, choirs have won nationally at the CBC Amateur Canadian Choral Competition, World Choir Games gold medal standing (Riga, Latvia), and have appeared at the Canadian national choral conference “Podium”. In 2018, she was thrilled to be awarded the Ontario Arts Council’s Leslie Bell Prize, which "recognizes excellence in emerging conductors".
Since 2019, Dr. Pauls has been the Artistic Director of the Guelph Chamber Choir, an organization that has been a stalwart on the Canadian choral scene for over forty years. The GCC presents a four-concert main season spanning works from larger orchestral/choral pieces to contemporary works and commissions. She is passionate about community engagement and has developed the “Sing Out” program that runs concurrently with the concert season creating programming aimed at developing youth musicians, connecting with seniors, and engaging with community partners. The GCC is also intent on fostering Canadian choral music, recording six new pieces by composer Stephen Chatman in 2022, commissioning Metis composer Ian Cusson in 2023, and currently running an Emerging Choral Composer competition with the winning piece to be premiered in April 2024.
She is the Associate Artistic Director of the 200-voice strong Oakville Choir for Children and Youth where she directs the “Chamber Voices” ensemble, an ambassadorial group selected from within the organization’s senior singers.
Charlene has appeared as a Soprano soloist on concert stages across Canada and internationally in Germany, England, France and Spain with notable conductors such as Robert Shaw, Bramwell Tovey, Frieder Bernius, and Helmuth Rilling.
Dr. Pauls holds a D.M.A. in Musical Arts (Vocal Performance) from the University of Toronto where she specialized in vocal pedagogy and a doctoral research dissertation on Bach’s Cantata BWV 210. She received a Master’s of Arts from McGill University (Early Music), and completed undergraduate degrees from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba in theology, piano and voice. She has undertaken additional choral conducting studies that include work with Hilary Apfelstadt, Eugene Rogers, Michael Zaugg, and David Hayes.
In addition to her active performing career, Charlene maintains a private voice studio, adjudicates for choral and vocal festivals across Canada, and presents research at conferences, including the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) and Chorus America.