Institute for Women Conductors

2017 Institute for Women Conductors Observers

Marie Bucoy-Calavan, USA

is currently the Director of Choral Studies at The University of Akron, Artistic Director of Summit Choral Society, and serves as the Chorus Director for the Akron Symphony. Bucoy-Calavan served as Assistant Conductor to Robert Porco for the May Festival Chorus, the symphonic chorus for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. She has also conducted various opera performances in California and Ohio, including Donizetti’s Elixir of Love and Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro and Cosí fan Tutte. Bucoy-Calavan is regularly invited to serve residencies teaching conducting across the nation and abroad, including at the Hochschule für Musik und Theatre in Munich, Germany. Bucoy-Calavan completed her Doctorate of Musical Arts in Conducting at University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.

Catherine O’Shaughnessy, USA

is a rising opera conductor in the United States and abroad. Avidly committed to Chicago’s dynamic opera scene, she has worked with numerous companies and is currently principal conductor of the Floating Opera Company and music director of Chicago Fringe Opera, an organization committed to providing a platform for new and underrepresented voices. Reviewers have praised her “great skill, alertness and sensitivity” and her “resourcefulness…fierce concentration…and…spirit of a modern collaborator”. During her doctoral studies with Dr. William Reber at Arizona State University, Catherine learned to appreciate and work in a wide variety of styles and genres. This stylistic flexibility has led to performances throughout Europe and to masterclasses with such teachers as Yuri Simonov, Julius Kalmar, and Maurizio Arena.

Maria Sensi Sellner, USA

is widely recognized for her versatility and artistry as a conductor of opera, orchestras, and choruses. The first three-time winner of the American Prize for Opera Conducting, Ms. Sellner is the founder and Artistic Director of Resonance Works Pittsburgh, Artistic Advisor for Hubbard Hall Opera, and previously has held positions as Director of the Akron Symphony Chorus and Acting Music Director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (chorus of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra). An alum of Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Sellner recently conducted the American premiere of Sir James MacMillan’s Gloria, and in 2016 was a strand leader conductor for the world premiere of David Lang’s “the public domain” for 1000 singers at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center.

Hannah Threlkeld, USA

is an active conductor of orchestral, opera, and ballet repertoire. She has recently served as Assistant Conductor for the Meadows Symphony Orchestra and as Conductor for the new music ensemble, SYZYGY. Ms. Threlkeld assisted with the Meadows Opera Theater’s 2017 production of L’Elisir d’Amore and their 2016 production of Die Zauberflöte. In 2016, she was selected to be a conducting fellow for the Eastern Music Festival where she worked alongside music director Gerard Schwarz and conducted the Eastern Festival Orchestra. Additionally, Ms. Threlkeld studied conducting in Weimar, Germany and holds a Bachelors in Music Education and a Masters in Orchestral Conducting from Southern Methodist University, where she studied with Dr. Paul Phillips.

2017 Participants


Alba Bomfim


Mélisse Brunet


Lina Gonzalez-Granados


Karin Hendrickson


Carolyn Watson


Monica Wolinska



Marie Bucoy-Calavan


Catherine O’Shaughnessy


Maria Sensi Sellner


Hanah Threlkeld