The November/December 2023 issue of Choral Journal is online and features an article titled “’Tempo is Affect, Duration is Drama’: The Conducting Methodology of Carmen-Helena Téllez” by Brandon Hollihan. Following is a portion from the article.
Dr. Carmen-Helena Téllez (1955-2021) was a force of nature in the world of choral and contemporary music. She is credited as the first woman on record to conduct Hector Berlioz’s Grandes Messe des Morts, giving a performance at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU) in 2000. After completing her doctoral studies at IU, she became a professor, holding a position that included directing the university’s Latin American Music Center and conducting the Contemporary Vocal Ensemble. As director of the Latin American Music Center, she oversaw multiple recordings of Latin American compositions while also “establishing a recording competition in conjunction with the Office of Education and the Embassy of Spain to champion works by Latin American and Ibero-American composers.”
In 2012, Téllez joined the faculty at the University of Notre Dame to help guide graduate degrees in choral conducting through the university’s new Sacred Music Program. During her tenure she collaborated with worldwide names in the classical and contemporary music worlds, including James MacMillan in a concert of his The Seven Last Words from the Cross (2012), baritone Nathan Gunn in a performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah (2015), and a performance of Philip Glass’s Madrigal Opera with the composer in attendance (2019). Téllez also made sure to have her conducting students involved in these projects in whatever ways she could. The purpose of this article is to summarize the lessons Téllez provided for students in Notre Dame’s Sacred Music Program into six principles.
Read the full article in the November/December 2023 issue of Choral Journal. acda.org/choraljournal