Sophia Papoulis is overjoyed to join the newly-formed Coastal Youth Choirs as Conductor-In-Residence for this inaugural season. Sophia’s work with the Savannah Children’s Choir began in early 2016, when she was invited to join the staff as Director of SCC’s summer session. She is honored to continue to be part of such an energetic, joyful community created by SCC’s board, staff, families, and especially, the incredible young artists.
Sophia serves as Creative Director for the Foundation for Small Voices (FSV), a not-for-profit organization dedicated, through music, to crossing cultural, generational, and ideological boundaries to raise awareness and funds for national and international music and mentoring programs for children. Together with her husband Jim Papoulis, composer and founder of FSV, she seeks to align her passion for sparking joyful and meaningful musical experiences with Jim’s founding vision of providing access to these artistic endeavors to young people from all walks of life, especially through his songwriting workshops. Their work often takes them to schools and communities that lack music and arts education, offering them the opportunity to create, fundraise, and advocate for choral music programs and opportunities for children and youth. They are fortunate to travel and work with young people and choral educators alike all over the country and the world, sharing their combined, ever-evolving knowledge in creation, composition, world music, pedagogy, curriculum, and conducting.
For several years, Sophia served as Conductor for the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City, directing choruses in its core after-school program and teaching within its Satellite School program in NYC public schools. She has conducted at a number of NYC’s venues, including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space. She has prepared choruses for national and international radio and television appearances, recording sessions, collaborative performances with such ensembles as the New York Pops, Meredith Monk, the Kronos Quartet and the Stephen Petronio Company, and for performances not only in New York City, but also in major venues throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.
Sophia also worked as Director of Choirs for the renowned Boston Children’s Chorus, conducting choruses at the advanced, intermediate, and beginning levels, overseeing the artistic staff and programming for the organization at-large, and leading the BCC Professional Development Workshop Series for music educators in the Boston Public Schools. During her time at BCC, Sophia prepared choruses for performances in the world premiere of the Ouroboros Trilogy, an opera trilogy featuring the Pulitzer Prize-winning Madame White Snake, collaborating with The New England Conservatory of Music, Arts Emerson, and the Celebrity Series of Boston. Sophia also conducted BCC choruses at London’s Southbank Centre, home to the world-famous Royal Festival Hall, as part of the International Youth Choral Festival 2017.
Sophia studied music education and conducting at Ithaca College, where she is a member of the Choral Music Experience artistic faculty.