Artistic and Executive Director Susan McMane is a world-renowned choral conductor specializing in treble choral music. In 2012, she became the founding director of the Young Women’s Choral Projects of San Francisco, where she conducts the auditioned chorus of young women from grades 7-12 and oversees a training chorus program for younger girls. From June 2001- March 2012, Dr. McMane was the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Girls Chorus where she achieved national and international acclaim for its concert, recording, and touring chorus. She has served on college music faculties of Saint Louis University, the University of North Dakota and San Francisco State, and was Founding Artistic Director and Conductor of the St. Louis Women’s Chorale.
Dr. McMane has prepared her choirs for performances with many leading symphonic conductors such as Michael Tilson Thomas, Helmut Rilling, Robert Spano, Charles Dutoit, Nicholas McGegan, and Kurt Masur. In addition, she personally has conducted ensembles on tour nationally and internationally throughout Europe and Asia including France, Spain, Italy, England, Wales, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Japan, South Korea, and China. In 2011, she was invited to bring her chorus to Cuba, on a cultural exchange mission granted by the U.S. and Cuban governments.
Dr. McMane has won many awards for her work including three GRAMMY® Awards with the San Francisco Symphony and the 2007 “Symphony of Excellence Arts Award” from the Pacific Musical Society. In addition she won honors at the International Eisteddfod competition in Llangollen, Wales, in 1998 and that year was also named the “Music Educator of the Year” by the St. Louis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
To promote and advance choral music for treble voices, Dr. McMane is responsible for commissioning over 20 new works from prominent composers such as Chen Yi, Tania Leon, Augusta Read Thomas, Frank La Rocca, David Conte, Alberto Grau, and many more. She is a two-time recipient of the ASCAP Award for Adventurous Programming. She earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting from the Conservatory of Music, University of Missouri-Kansas City, and holds two degrees in Vocal Performance.