Incoming Artistic Director Marie Bucoy-Calavan

Described to be “destroying stereotypes and breaking boundaries for the arts and choral music,” Marie Bucoy-Calavan has conducted a diverse range of ensembles, from primary and secondary level choirs, to community, collegiate, and professional choruses and opera productions. Bucoy-Calavan has an affinity for conducting and preparing choral-orchestral masterworks, having served as the Assistant Conductor to Robert Porco for the May Festival Chorus, the symphonic chorus for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has prepared and performed with symphonic choruses under the batons of John Williams, Eric Whitacre, Keith Lockhart, James Conlon, Carl St. Clair, Bramwell Tovey, John Mauceri, Louis Langrée, John Nelson, and John Alexander in distinguished venues, including Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Cincinnati Music Hall, and the Liszt Academy in Budapest, Hungary.

Bucoy-Calavan has been Director of Choral Studies at The University of Akron since 2014, where she conducts the choirs, advises all three pop ​a cappella​ groups on campus, and teaches undergraduate- and graduate-level conducting and choral literature. Active in the Northeast Ohio region, she held the posts of Chorus Director for the Akron Symphony and Artistic Director of Summit Choral Society, where she both prepared and conducted choral-orchestral works. With all these groups, she has specialized in adventurous programming. She focuses on innovation by collaborating and combining with different art forms, which results in enterprising ventures and widened audiences for choral music.

Bucoy-Calavan is in demand as a conductor, clinician, and speaker across the US and in Europe. She is also frequently invited for residencies teaching conducting masterclasses, conducting private lessons, and American choral music at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre in Munich, Germany,  and has served choral artist-in-residencies at Xavier University, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and California State University, Fullerton. She has been asked to present and speak on the new generation of entrepreneurial advances in choral music at the 2017 and 2018 National Conferences for Chorus America.

A lifelong learner and enthusiasm for the art of conducted gesture, Bucoy-Calavan has been fervent in continuing her conducting training.  She has been invited to participate in juried conducting masterclasses with Jerry Blackstone, Paul Rardin, Robert Porco, Craig Hella-Johnson, Andre Thomas, Patrick Dupré Quigley, Ragnar Bohlin, Jacques Lacombe, David Hayes, Arthur Fagan, William Dehning, Mark Gibson, and Elmer Thomas. In addition, Bucoy-Calavan placed second in the 2013 American Choral Directors Association National Choral Conducting Competition, held in Dallas, Texas. Her research interests lies in conducting pedagogy and its unification among choral, orchestral, and wind ensembles. Moreover, because of her frequent work as an opera and oratorio conductor, she has been asked to serve as an active champion, advocate, and spokesperson for the training and preparedness of young choral conductors in the arena of choral-orchestral works, particularly in accompanied recitative. Her growing cohort of conductors that she has mentored are winning sacred music and collegiate jobs and assistantships across the nation.

Bucoy-Calavan finished her Bachelor of Arts in Music and Master of Music in Choral Conducting at California State University, Fullerton, serving as the Graduate Assistant Conductor of both the University Singers and Chamber Choir. She completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting and cognate in Music History at the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, where she directed the University of Cincinnati Men’s Chorus and taught introductory courses and private lessons in conducting for undergraduate students.

She serves as Secretary for the National Board of Directors for Chorus America, Secretary on the Executive Board for the National Collegiate Choral Organization, and Coordinator and Chair for University Repertoire and Resources for the state organization, Ohio Choral Directors Association.

Marie has already made her Choral Arts debut, serving as the guest conductor last December for our O Night Divine! Christmas performances.

Marie officially joins Choral Arts on September 1, 2024. We look forward to sharing more information with you as Marie settles into our Washington community, including her artistic vision for the 2024-2025 season!

Click here for the full press release of Marie’s Announcement