We are thrilled to welcome Frances Roberts back as our new Vox Panacea director! Frances led the in-person choir last spring as our interim director, and will be coming on board as the new director of Vox Panacea this fall.
Frances Roberts has spent the past thirty two years teaching secondary choral music at Argyle Secondary, North Vancouver where she directed 2 concert choirs, a chamber choir, 2 vocal jazz ensembles and a strings ensemble. She is also on faculty at the West Coast Amateur Musicians Family Summer Camp at Quest University. In the fall of 2022 Frances assumed the role of professor, teaching the Secondary Choral Pedagogy course at UBC in the faculty of Music Education.
Over the years her school choirs toured extensively: within North America, Europe, the Baltics, China, and the U.K. Her choirs have been fortunate enough to be selected to appear with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Vancouver Chamber Choir and annually at Christmas with the Vancouver Welsh Men’s Choir. Thanks to Musicfest Vancouver the Argyle Senior Vocal Ensemble and alumni workshopped with “Rajaton” from Finland, “The Idea of North” from Australia and the “Swingle Singers” from U.K.
As a result of her outstanding work, Frances is in demand as a clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor and has presented workshops for BCMEA, the Alberta Choral Federation, the BC Choral Federation and the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. She also teaches at summer choral conducting workshops: BCCF Da Capo, Convivium and Inspirare.
She was the director of the BC Youth Choir for the BCCF at ChorFest 2013 in Nanaimo. She returned to UBC in 2014 to complete her Masters in Choral Conducting with Dr. Graeme Langager. In 2017 she received a District of North Vancouver “Outstanding Supporter of Youth” award. In 2018 after participating with her choirs in the festival, she received the “Most Inspiring Conductor” award (John Trepp Memorial ) from Vancouver Kiwanis Festival, and then was honoured by her music teaching colleagues in BC when she received the BCMEA Outstanding Professional Music Educator Award – Secondary in 2020.
Frances retired from North Vancouver School District in January of 2023, opening up more time to adjudicate and do workshops with choirs and choral conductors, something she really enjoys doing.