The Ontario Arts Council has announced Oakville’s Charlene Pauls as the winner of the 2018 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting.
The award is offered every two years to an emerging professional conductor who is a resident of Ontario and works with a professional, semi-professional or community choir, and comes with a $10,000 cash prize.
“We are very impressed by Charlene, a conductor who leads her choirs to a very high level of achievement,” said a jury member. “She is a vibrant and effective community builder, as well as an excellent musician and choral educator. We also applaud her strong commitment to Canadian music and the way she weaves social consciousness into her work.”
Pauls is active as a professional soprano, choral conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and teacher, and is currently associate artistic director of the Oakville Choir for Children and Youth (OCCY).
As an advocate for music to promote social change, she conducts the Raise Her Voice chamber choir, which empowers young female leaders, and leads the Mosaic Music Collective, an intergenerational, multicultural community choir that aims to break down barriers through global music.
Pauls has studied at McGill University, the University of Manitoba, and the University of Winnipeg, and holds a doctorate in vocal performance from the University of Toronto.
Later this season, she will be appearing as a guest conductor with the Guelph Chamber Choir.
View a performance by OCCY’s Raise Her Voice choir, under the direction of Charlene Pauls.