Adjunct Assistant Professor
101 Walnut Lane, Princeton, NJ 08540
Soprano Rochelle Ellis, an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University, has distinguished herself in a broad repertoire that extends from Bach and Beethoven to Verdi, Barber and Gershwin. Frequently engaged by today’s leading conductors, many of Ms. Ellis’ most outstanding career successes have occurred in the concert hall. She has performed Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Houston Symphony conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, the Indianapolis Symphony conducted by Raymond Leppard, and the Oregon Symphony conducted by James DePriest. Her Carnegie Hall debut was as soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and Bach’s Cantata 140 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Westminster Choir conducted by Joseph Flummerfelt. The soprano was honored to give the world premiere of Hold Fast to Dreams composed by jazz great Dave Brubeck, and based on poetry by Langston Hughes. She has been a frequent soloist with the Berkshire Choral Festival in Massachusetts, as well as with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She made her New York City Opera debut as Serena in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and has also performed operas with Chamber Opera Chicago and Skylight Opera Theatre. Internationally, she has performed the Verdi Requiem with the National Opera of China in Beijing, sung opera favorites at the Prague (Czech Republic) Autumn Music Festival, and performed solo recitals in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.
In addition to maintaining voice studios at Westminster and at her home, Ms. Ellis has been active in both Rider University and community outreach in music. She has taught in the Rider EOP summer pre-college program, as well as in the Westminster Conservatory High School Summer Vocal Institute, Middle School Vocal Camp, and High School Solo Vocal Artists Camp.
Locally, she was a visiting artist in the New Brunswick (NJ) Public Schools, working to bring classical music to urban students. In the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, she initialized a district wide festival for African-American culture. She also presented a lecture/recital on the origins of African-American music from slavery until after the Civil War for the 10th grade U.S. History classes at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. With the Greater Trenton Symphony, she has frequently performed the lecture/recital “The Lady from Philadelphia”, highlighting the life and career of singer Marian Anderson. She coordinated the development of an opera outreach program for New Jersey Young Audiences, Inc., using Westminster students to perform for grade schools in the South Brunswick School District. In Japan, she did a lecture/demonstration on African-American singing style techniques for the Japanese Association for Research in Singing (JARS) at the Tokyo University of the Arts.
The St. Louis native holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music Education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.