Sophia Papoulis is a conductor, choral clinician, and music educator, and is honored to serve as Creative Director for the Foundation for Small Voices. After becoming familiar with FSV through a songwriting workshop in 2006, she began volunteering with the organization when she first moved to New York City in the fall of 2007. She has since been involved in several capacities, both artistic and operational: volunteering with the Holiday Gift Drive; serving as conductor for several events throughout New York City and the United States; recording and producing music in the FSV studio; and taking on administrative and programmatic responsibilities. In April of 2013, she joined the FSV Board of Directors, and within the following year, took on the role of Creative Director of the organization, donating her time and talent to further FSV’s musical endeavors.
Sophia’s reverence for FSV’s mission, combined with her passion for building community among young people through music, has driven her to connect FSV to its own past, present, and future by creating new initiatives to empower the lives of children through music while simultaneously honoring and continuing projects and events that have already been a longstanding part of the organization. Most recently, she created and directs FSV’s “Small Voices of Hope” choral project, bringing a choral and songwriting music experience to children in Boston’s public schools, many of whom have never experienced choral singing. Sophia and Jim together designed and launched FSV’s Professional Development series in the spring of 2014, bringing their combined knowledge of composition, world music, pedagogy, curriculum, and working with children of all ages to music educators. Since the inception of the series, teachers and conductors benefitting from the program have spanned school districts across the United States and Canada.
In addition to new FSV endeavors, Sophia is dedicated to finding ways to continue the spirit of the Holiday Gift Drive by encouraging those who have donated generously for several years to continue doing so through sponsorships and donations of clothes, books, and toys. She has maintained connections in New York City and cultivated new relationships in Boston with schools and communities in need.
Sophia currently also works full-time with the award-winning Boston Children’s Chorus as Assistant Director of Choirs, a position she has held since the summer of 2015. Within this role, she conducts beginning and intermediate level ensembles and supports all BCC choirs as a conductor and vocal coach. In addition to her role as a conductor, Sophia oversees the eight choirs of the lower division out of BCC’s 13 total choirs, leads the recruitment efforts of the organization at-large, and manages a study group of music educators, serving as a liaison to the Boston Public Schools.
Sophia is sought after as a choral clinician, guest-conducting regional and all-state choruses of all ages; serving as an adjudicator throughout the Northeast; presenting as a guest-lecturer at universities for undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students in music education and conducting; and giving workshops nationally and internationally. She is a member of the Choral Music Experience artistic faculty at her alma mater, the Ithaca College School of Music. As a performer, she continues to sing as an adjunct member of the SoHarmoniums Women’s Choir in New York City, where she was a regular member and assistant conductor for 7 years, and as a member of the Upstate New York Chorus, periodically performing master works with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra.
Prior to her relocation to Boston, Sophia served as a conductor for the award-winning Young People’s Chorus of New York City (YPC), and taught within New York City public schools to bring the YPC choral experience to an additional 800 children annually beyond its core after-school program. She has conducted at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center’s Rose Theater, the 92nd Street Y, Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center, and Symphony Space, in addition to a number of other venues large and small throughout New York City. She has prepared choruses for national and international radio and television appearances, recording sessions, collaborative performances with such artists as Meredith Monk, the Kronos Quartet and the Stephen Petronio Company, and for performances not only in New York City, but also in major venues throughout North America, Asia, Europe, and South America. Through these trips, she has been part of a dedicated team whose vision strives to lead young people to different parts of the world, sharing music at the highest level of artistic excellence while immersing themselves in their surrounding cultures as musical ambassadors of peace and hope.