Our Artistic Team

Jean-Sébastien Vallée, OCS Music Director

Jean-Sébastien Vallée is an internationally recognized conductor, scholar, and pedagogue. Maestro Vallée is Associate Professor of Music, Director of Choral Studies, and Chair of the Ensembles &Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. Dr. Vallée is Music Director of the Ottawa Choral Society, and director of the renowned choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal. Previously, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands.

In addition to his interest in choral, operatic, and orchestral music, Jean-Sébastien is an advocate for contemporary music, making it one of his priorities to premiere and commission works by young composers and to program rarely performed repertoire. As a scholar, Dr. Vallée has been invited to present his research at national and international conferences including those of the American Choral Directors Association, Festival 500 in Newfoundland, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, Podium (the national convention of Choral Canada), the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, and the 11th World Symposium on Choral Music, in Barcelona.

Upcoming activities include Unisong 2019 in Ottawa, Howard Goodall’s Eternal Light at Carnegie Hall, concerts at the Franz Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, a tour with the National Youth Choir of Canada, and lectures at the 12th World Symposium on Choral Music, in New Zealand. Maestro Vallée’s work has been broadcast nationally and internationally by CBC Radio and PBS and can be heard on several recordings, including his recent albums entitled Lux (ATMA, 2017) and Requiem (ATMA, 2018).

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Deirdre Kellerman, ASSISTANT Director

Deirdre Kellerman (B.Mus Vocal Performance, Acadia; M.Mus Choral Conducting, New England Conservatory) is an innovative choral conductor based in Ottawa, ON. She is the Assistant Director of the Ottawa Choral Society and the Director of Music at the First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa, where she conducts their three choral ensembles. She is a nominee for the 2018 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting. Deirdre has studied with Canada’s leading choral pedagogues and in 2018, she was one of five international conductors accepted into the Banff Centre’s inaugural Choral Art program.


Originally from Nova Scotia, Deirdre sang with Xara Choral Theatre, the Nova Scotia Youth Choir and the National Youth Choir of Canada. She now sings with Aella, a treble vocal ensemble in Ottawa. In high demand as a vocal coach, Deirdre is passionate about music education and life-long learning and maintains a busy teaching studio.


Scott Richardson, OCS Choir Accompanist

Scott Richardson is active in the Ottawa area as an accompanist and choir director. Scott grew up in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and studied music at Mount Allison University. He later completed a Ph.D. in English literature at the University of Ottawa. 

Scott currently conducts Atlantic Voices and Musica Viva Singers, and is the rehearsal pianist for the Ottawa Choral Society. He has also accompanied the Carleton University Choir, the Canadian Centennial Choir and the Ottawa Children's Choir. As an organist and choir director, Scott has held various positions in the Atlantic Provinces and in Ottawa, and is now Music Director at Orleans United Church.

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