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.
Allegro Chorus Director Danelle Johnson brings over 25 years of experience in choral music and singing to YWCP. After receiving a Bachelor of Music Education from Loyola University (New Orleans), Danelle taught music and chorus in several public and private schools in Louisiana and Florida. Moving to California in 2004, Danelle taught elementary and high school vocal music and served as a choral director for the San Francisco Girls Chorus School. In 2007, she earned a Master of Music Education degree from Holy Names University with a specialization in solfeggio and the methods of Zoltan Kodály. More recently, she lived in Texas for two years developing a choral music program for a newly-constructed high school. Having returned to California in 2012, Danelle serves several organizations as a pianist and choral specialist. She also runs a private music studio in her home offering piano, voice and music theory lessons.
Prelude Chorus Director Samantha Maas-Baldwin has been teaching music in the Bay Area for over 10 years. After graduating from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education with an emphasis in classical voice, Samantha became the director of music at San Marin High School in northern Marin, leading both choral and instrumental ensembles. In the spring of 2014, Samantha earned a Master of Music in Music Education with an emphasis on Kodály from Holy Names University. While earning her Master’s, Samantha also studied advanced vocal pedagogy with Eric Howe. During her time at Holy Names University, Samantha worked as a San Francisco Girls Chorus prep choir instructor and was a teaching artist for Cantare Children’s Choir’s of Oakland. Currently she works as an elementary and middle school music teacher in the Albany public schools, is a vocal music director for Marin Summer Theater, and is thrilled to be part of YWCP.
Managing Director Kaneez Munjee comes to YWCP with over a decade of experience in arts management. A summer internship at Portland Baroque Orchestra launched her interest in arts administration, and since then she has worked in a range of capacities at West Bay Opera, Schola Cantorum (Mountain View), and the Fremont Symphony Orchestra, and as the Media and Publications Director at Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. She has been singing semi-professionally in the Bay Area for an equally long time, with groups such as the American Bach Soloists, San Francisco Symphony Chorus, Marin Symphony Chorus, California Bach Society, Pacific Collegium, Chalice Consort, and San Francisco Renaissance Voices. She recently completed a joint PhD in music and humanities from Stanford University, with a dissertation on the figure of Orpheus in French Baroque cantatas. She is also active in the Bay Area musical community as a writer for San Francisco Classical Voice and as a program annotator.
When pianist Margaret Halbig moved to the Bay Area in 2011, she joined the accompanying and vocal coaching staff at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Margaret also performs regularly with the Silicon Valley Music Festival, a San-Jose based music festival dedicated to artistic excellence and innovation. An advocate of new and contemporary music, Margaret has been the pianist for Wild Rumpus, a San Francisco-based new music collective, since its inception in 2011. Margaret is also a founding member of Firesong, a chamber music trio with soprano Vanessa Langer and clarinetist Sophie Huet, dedicated to innovative, contemporary programming in addition to the commissioning of the next generation of vocal chamber works. Other recent projects include Opera Outreach and special event programs with Opera Santa Barbara as well recording an album of contemporary cello and piano works with Ojai-based cellist, Virginia Kron. Margaret earned her DMA from the University of California at Santa Barbara under the tutelage of Robert Koenig and also holds performance degrees from the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory and University of Evansville, Indiana.
Nick Bang (East Bay)
Janet Campbell (Peninsula)
Audrey Howitt (East Bay)
Elizabeth Hunter (East Bay)
Karen Carle Irwin (San Francisco)
Sally Munro (San Francisco)
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Young Women's Choral ProjectsP.O. Box 170508 San Francisco, CA 94117Phone: 415.312.7787