About Charissa BaganCharissa Bagan, born and raised in Edmonton, completed a Master of Music in Conducting at the University of British Columbia (UBC) following extensive musical studies at the University of Toronto and training in Arts & Cultural Management at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton. While at UBC, she worked with the UBC Women’s Choir, Chamber Choir, Choral Union, and sang in the award-winning University Singers. She taught every level of UBC’s musicianship course for music majors and has since cultivated an interest in developing creative and comprehensive musicianship training programs for young people.
In Western Canada, Charissa was the conducting assistant for the Vancouver Children’s Choir, and also served on the Board of the BC Choral Federation. In 2007, she founded the award-winning University Community Children’s Choir, which performed with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Charissa recently completed four years as conductor of the Junior Choir program at Toronto’s renowned St. Michael’s Choir School, leading choristers in a musical training program which includes singing weekly mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral. The Choir School has toured extensively with such highlights as singing High Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and performing at the Association of Canadian Choral Communities National Conference in Ottawa. Charissa was also the Assistant Artistic Director at Young Voices Toronto and served as a mentor for the University of Toronto’s Music Mentorship Program.
In 2013, Charissa joined the conducting staff of the Zezere Arts Festival in Portugal and prepared the choir for several major works, all performed at the spectacular 12th Century Convento de Cristo. During the 2015-2016 season she was Director of the Early Music Singers at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland. This group, comprised largely of undergraduate and graduate students in music and musicology, specializes in music of the renaissance but also explores medieval and early baroque repertoire.
Charissa loves to learn and grow with her choristers and has studied with conductors and observed choirs all across Canada, from the International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, B.C. to the Festival 500 in St. John’s Newfoundland. Beyond the doors of the Bach Children’s Chorus, Charissa enjoys the adventure of life with her two young children and her husband, Chris, a keyboardist and Baroque music specialist.