Mary Ellen Junda
Professor of Music, Director of Choral Ensembles
Mary Ellen Junda, Professor of Music at the University of Connecticut, is a nationally recognized conductor, educator, scholar and recording artist. Dr. Junda is known for her innovative concerts as director of the University of Connecticut Women’s Choir and Earthtones, the new world music vocal ensemblethat studies and performs the music of culturally diverse groups. She created Sing and Shout! a unique general education course that integrates history with communal singing and song-writing and has shared her innovative pedagogy at national and international conferences including the College Music Society, National Association for Music Education, Cultural Diversity in Music Education, and the International Phenomenon of Singing Symposium. Dr. Junda is the recipient of a number of grants and awards for developing new courses and for her research with Dr. Robert Stephens on the music and culture of the Gullah of the Sea Islands. She was a 2011 Summer Scholar for the National Endowment for the Humanities Institute on Global Music and Culture and is the co-director with Dr. Stephens for their Landmark Grant in History and Culture, Gullah Voices: Traditions and Transformations, awarded $180,000 by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Dr. Junda is known for her exemplary work as a choral conductor. She conducted the 2002 Organization of American Kodály Educators National Treble Choir and has led numerous festival choruses throughout the Northeast. She received four Parents’ Choice Awards, including a coveted 2008 Parents’ Choice Classic Award, for her Singing with Treblemakers recordings, authored the K-6 Vocal Development Sequence in the Silver Burdett Ginn ©2002 Making Music and recorded songs with Treblemakers for the series. Dr. Junda was awarded a 2002 Howard Foundation Fellowship in Music Performance from Brown Universityin recognition of her choral artistry. From 2004-2011, Dr. Junda was founding artistic director of The Main Street Singers, a community children’s choir in New Britain, Connecticut that performed at civic events and conferences throughout the state.