Daria Abreu currently serves as the department chair and professor of choral conducting at the Esteban Salas Music Conservatory. She teaches courses in score reading, choral conducting methods, and choir vocal techniques, and she directs the women’s chorus Sirena. Abreu has been an active educator and assistant conductor throughout Latin America and Europe. She is leading the workshop called Cuban Choral Music, From Sones to Guarachas.
Cleophas Adderley is the founder and director of the Bahamas National Youth Choir. Beyond his work as a conductor, Adderley is an accomplished composer; his opera Our Boys is the first Bahamian grand opera and the first opera to be written and performed in the English-speaking Caribbean. He is presenting a one-day Atelier focused on the classical music of the Caribbean.
Known for her contributions to music and poetry, Audrey Dean-Wright founded the College of the Bahamas Concert Choir in 1998, which has enjoyed remarkable success under her leadership and has appeared at international festivals. The American Biographical Institute named her Woman of the Year in 2006, and at America Cantat 8 she is leading the Islands of Song: Folk Music of the Bahamas workshop.
Venezuelan native Cristian Grases joined the University of Southern California faculty in the fall 2010 semester as assistant professor of choral music and conductor of the USC Thornton Concert Choir. As a sought-out conductor, educator, academic, and adjudicator, he has traveled to four continents, conducting in prestigious halls and presenting in international conventions and symposia. Grases is also a national board member of the International Federation for Choral Music (IFCM). He will lead the conducting master class.
Sonovia Pierre is an active participant of the arts community in The Bahamas. She is the assistant director of the Bel Canto Singers, a semi professional group that has most recently toured the major basilicas and cathedrals in Eastern Canada. She is a member of a local Bahamian band, Ting um Dem, and can be seen on various stages singing traditional Bahamian hits and favorites.
Since completing her MM Ed. at Vandercook College of Music, Sonovia has been teaching in the government school system where she has taught at all levels, composing for choir, and arranging for handbell ensembles. She has composed the Alma Maters for four public schools, and she recently wrote and arranged award-winning songs for The 19th Annual Ministers of Education Conference, which was held in The Bahamas in June 2015. She continues to lecture part-time at the College of The Bahamas in Bahamian Music Folklore and Culture. She is presenting the workshop Join the Junkanoo!
Zimfira Poloz’s passion for choral music extends to every corner of the world. She established the first choir school in Kazakhstan, appears regularly as an educator for festivals and workshops around the world, and currently serves as artistic director of the Hamilton Children’s Choir and as a lecturer at the University of Toronto, specializing in “Vocal Pedagogy for Young Choirs.” At America Cantat 8 she is leading the children’s workshop Voices of Youth – Joy of Singing!
*Workshop Leaders and Workshops are subject to change.