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Cheryl Dupont, Music Director

Cheryl Dupont is the Artistic Director of the New Orleans Children's Chorus and Youth Chorale. Although she is known throughtout the United States for her work with children's choirs, Cheryl is equally experienced at working with mixed choirs on the high school, college and adult levels. She previously taught at Benjamin Franklin High School for thirteen years and served as Interim Director of Choral Activities at the University of New Orleans for the 1999-2000 academic year. Mrs. Dupont has also served as an Instructor of Voice at the University of New Orleans, Womens' Chorus Director at Loyola University of the South, and as Associate Conductor of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans. Other experience includes teaching and conducting on the elementary level and in churches. Her choirs have won numerous awards in music festivals throughout the South, and have appeared at state and regional conventions of the American Choral Directors Association (Savannah in 1992, Knoxville in 1994, and Orlando in 2000), the national convention of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators in 1998, and several times at Carnegie Hall. The New Orleans Children's Chorus toured Italy in the summer of 1996 under her direction and made their solo debut at Carnegie Hall in New York in June of 1997.

Mrs. Dupont is in demand as a guest conductor, clinician and adjudicator. She has conducted all-state choirs or other statewide festivals in Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Kentucky and New Jersey, and conducts frequently in Louisiana, Florida and other southeastern states.

She holds the Bachelor of Music Education degree in Piano and Voice and the Master of Music Education degree in Conducting Performance, both from Loyola University of the South, and the Artist-Teacher Diploma from the Choral Music Experience Institute. She is now a Teaching Associate for the Choral Music Experience Institute, working in the field of advanced training of choral teacher/conductors. Cheryl is the director of the Choral Music Experience certification course held annually in North Carolina. In addition, she is the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Crescent City Choral Festival, an annual choral festival for children throughout the United States, which is in its fifth successful year.

Mrs. Dupont has assumed many leadership roles on the district level of the Louisiana Music Educators Association. An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, she served from 1993- 1999 as Southern Division Repertoire and Standards Chairperson on the National Committee on Children's Choirs. She is the founder and chairperson of the Louisiana ACDA Elementary All-State Honor Chorus. Cheryl is a member of the Organization of American Kodaly Educators and was selected for inclusion in "Who's Who Among American Teachers." She presently serves as President of the Association for Choral Music Education.

Colleen Maher, Apprentice Chorus Director

Colleen Maher began her association with the New Orleans Children's Chorus as a member in 1991 and continued as a collegiate assistant. Ms. Maher also serves as the music director at the Academy of the Sacred Heart Middle School, directing both the Avenue Singers Choir and biannual concerts for the full Middle School. At Sacred Heart, Ms. Maher also supervises music education student teachers and practicum participants from Loyola University. Previously, she directed the St. Mary's Dominican High School Choir, which participated in the New Orleans Children's Chorus Crescent City Choral Festival and the Children in Harmony Choral Festival in Walt Disney World. Her students from Sacred Heart and Dominican have been consistently selected for district, state, and regional honor choirs and have received superior ratings in concert performance and sight-reading at district and state Louisiana Music Educators Association Large Ensemble Festivals. In addition to her work at local schools, Ms. Maher has also served as choral director of the Resurrection of Our Lord Adult Choir and the University Presbyterian Children's Choir (Baton Rouge).

Ms. Maher holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Loyola University and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from Louisiana State University, where she completed independent studies on the music of Benjamin Britten. She holds additional certification from the Choral Music Experience Institutes for choral teacher training from Elon Univeristy and Elmhurst College and has completed further studies at Westminster Choir College in Princeton. Her principal instructors and conductors have included Meg Hulley Frazier, Cheryl Dupont, Doreen Rao, and Kenneth Fulton. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and the Louisiana Music Educators Association, completing terms as Membership Chair (Louisiana ACDA) and District Vocal Chairperson (LMEA).