VLADA’S TEACHING BACKGROUND
Experience, professionalism, and passion qualify me to lead and educate vocal ensembles. Growing up in Bulgaria, I came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music in 1996. I have been working as a professional singer with my base in New York since 2001 and performed all over the world, including Lincoln Center, Moscow Conservatory, Carnegie Hall, and Bulgaria’s National Palace of Culture.
In terms of teaching, I am also the founder of Yasna Voices, New York’s Bulgarian Women’s Choir, and have been coaching women to sing Bulgarian folk songs since 1999. I also taught Bulgarian folk singing workshops at Princeton University, Yale University, Wesleyan University, Berklee College of Music, Teacher’s College at Columbia University, and to established vocal ensembles such as Yale Slavic Chorus at Yale University, Northern Harmony and Amerykanka in Vermont, Svitaniya Women’s Ensemble in Philadelphia, and the National Choir of Cuba and Luna Vocal Ensemble in Cuba, among numerous other ensembles, organizations, as well as private group workshops.
I believe that the choral leadership experience, which includes working with Americans as well as women from many other parts of the world, both experienced singers and neophytes, would serve me well in assembling and honing a formidable vocal ensemble at your institution. My background at Berklee College of Music gives me a firm orientation in the technical facets of music education, while my expertise in folkloric traditions was developed the traditional way: through the direct, personal tutelage of several of Bulgaria’s most revered folkloric singers, such as my mentor the late Kremena Stancheva, Yanka Rupkina, and Binka Dobreva, all three long-time soloists for the Mystery of Bulgarian Voices (Bulgarian state radio and TV women’s folk choir) and among Bulgaria’s most revered folk singers. For this reason, I offer the robust combination of authenticity and fluency in the language, as well as the formal practice of music.