Young Voices Toronto announces Maria Conkey as new Artistic Director
Katherine McLoughlin, Chair of the Board of Directors, is pleased to announce the appointment of Maria Conkey as the new Artistic Director of Young Voices Toronto Children’s Choir (formerly High Park Choirs of Toronto). Conkey will be taking over the role from Zimfira Poloz, who, after thirteen years as Artistic Director, is moving on to the position of Artistic Advisor to the Board of Directors. Conkey officially takes the reins in September 2017, at the start of the choir’s 31st season.
“Maria Conkey brings bright energy, creative programming ideas, and a fierce love of educating children in singing,” said Debra Chandler, former Chair of the Board, and member of the Artistic Director Search Committee. “Her techniques are excellent, her reputation amongst both previous choristers and employers is exemplary, and everyone talks about her as a leader. In person, she is a breath of fresh air, a force driven by music, and like all Newfoundlanders, ready with a smile and a chuckle.”
An experienced conductor, clinician and pedagogue, Conkey is a graduate of Memorial University and the University of Alberta, where she studied choral conducting under the direction of Dr. Debra Cairns and Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. She currently holds the position of Junior Choir Conductor at St. Michael’s School in Toronto, ON. Prior to this appointment, Maria was the Director of the award-winning senior choirs at St. Bonaventure’s College in St. John’s, Newfoundland, the Choral Director at the Basilica of St. John the Baptist, the Artistic Director of the St. John’s Choir and the Founder and Artistic Director of Farfalla Vocal Ensemble. Maria has worked with internationally acclaimed conductors such as Maria Guinand, Jon Washburn and Fred Sjoberg. She has also worked with Shallaway – Newfoundland Youth in Chorus and several children’s, youth and adult choirs, including the Alberta Youth Choir and the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers.
“I have long admired Young Voices Toronto and I am incredibly honoured to have been selected to lead them into their next phase of development,” said Ms. Conkey. “I look forward to continuing the thirty-year history of musical excellence that is a trademark of the organization and to continue to build a community that celebrates each individual chorister’s musical and personal growth.”