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Shoshana Wasser

Associate Director of Public Affairs and Communications
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McMaster University choral conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff awarded the Leslie Bell Prize

February 18, 2015

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) today announced Rachel Rensink-Hoff as the latest recipient of the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting. She will receive the award at a performance of the McMaster University Choir and the McMaster Chamber Choir at Hamilton’s Central Presbyterian Church on Saturday, March 21 at 7:30 p.m.

Photo of Rachel Rensink-Hoff

About Rachel Rensink-Hoff

  • Rachel Rensink-Hoff is assistant professor of music at McMaster University, where she teaches courses in conducting, vocal-choral pedagogy and music education.
  • Prior to her appointment at McMaster, Rachel taught at Western University, where she completed a doctorate in music and a master’s degree in choral conducting. She has also studied at the Eastman School of Music Summer Conducting Institute, the VoiceCare Network at Saint John’s University and the University of Toronto.
  • Rachel conducts three choirs at McMaster University – the McMaster University Choir, the McMaster Women’s Choir and the McMaster Chamber Choir – and founded the latter two groups.
  • Under her leadership, the McMaster choirs have collaborated with numerous organizations in the Hamilton community, including the Hamilton Philharmonic, Opera Hamilton and the McMaster Institute for Music and Mind. They have also worked with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Toronto Mass Choir.
  • Rachel currently serves as president of Choirs Ontario and was recently nominated to the position of vice-president of professional development for Choral Canada.

QuoteRachel Rensink-Hoff

The jury remarked that “Rachel Rensink-Hoff embodies the ideals of the Leslie Bell Prize, including impressive talent, commitment to Canadian music and great potential.” They commended her for helping expand the choral community both in Hamilton and across the province.

About The Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting

  • The $10,000 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting is awarded every two years to an emerging professional conductor who is a resident of Ontario and works with a professional, semi-professional or community choir.
  • The prize is made possible by a financial contribution from the Leslie Bell Scholarship Fund and OAC. The scholarship fund, administered by OAC, was established in 1973 by the Leslie Bell Singers and friends of the late Dr. Leslie Bell.
  • The winner was chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by OAC. The jury comprised Lydia Adams (Caledon East), Carol Beynon (London), Ron Cheung (Toronto), Robert Filion (Ottawa) and Olivier Laquerre (Toronto).
  • Previous winners include Jamie Hillman (2012), Sarah Morrison (2010), Ken Fleet (2008) and Zimfira Poloz and Linda Beaupré (2006). Click here for a full list of past recipients.