Our musical director
Dr. Helena Vasconcellos
Helena comes from a musical family in Brazil and began playing guitar by ear with her five siblings at a very young age. At age 17 she began her formal music training, with private piano lessons and choral singing. Still in Brazil, she was one of the assistant directors of the Symphonic Choir of the University of Brasilia, a community choir with more than 300 voices. In 1997 she moved to Kansas City to study under the guidance of Dr. Eph Ehly at UMKC. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Piano Performance, a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting, and an Interdisciplinary Ph.D in Music Education with emphasis in Choral Conducting. While at UMKC, she was the recipient of the UMKC Women’s Council fund for two years and received a Fellowship from the School of Education for her doctoral studies. She was the Assistant Director of the Kansas City Children’s Choir for four years and worked as a music teacher for five years. She also worked as a clinician for Brazilian music at many schools in the Kansas City area. Currently she works at Nativity of Mary Parish in Independence and directs both the Youth and the Parish Choir. Besides being passionate for all kinds of music, Helena enjoys dancing Flamenco and, more recently, experimenting in the kitchen.