Dr. Ingrid Lestrud
Dr. Ingrid Lestrud enjoys an active career as a conductor and educator. Drawn to music and singing at an early age, she studied vocal performance as an undergraduate and discovered a passion for conducting choral and orchestral music. She went on to study conducting at the graduate level, eventually completing her Doctor of Music degree at Northwestern University, where she studied with Victor Yampolsky. While living in Chicago, Dr. Lestrud sang with the Chicago Symphony Chorus for several seasons under the baton of Riccardo Muti, performing in the Grammy award-winning recording of Verdi’s Requiem. She spent three years as the Voice Department Chair of the Merit School of Music, a community music school that serves over six thousand students with a focus on underserved communities. Collaborating with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, she worked with Renée Fleming to develop curriculum for Merit’s Solo Voice Program, and her choir performed for and with Ms. Fleming for special events.
Dr. Lestrud has served on the faculty of several colleges in the midwest and on the east coast, leading choral and orchestral programs. Formerly the Principal Associate Conductor of the Grammy award-winning National Children’s Chorus, she worked with some of the finest young singers in the nation, preparing them for concerts at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and the Kennedy Center. In 2019, she performed as a member of the Living Arts Collective at the National Gallery of Art, conducting several movements of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire in an event that showcased both musicians and dancers, highlighting an exhibition of lunar photographs and commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing. Dr. Lestrud is also a conductor with Encore Creativity, a choral organization for older adults that focuses on preparing high quality performances while also fostering a sense of community through singing.
Joseph and Karen Luquire Conducting Fellow
Elisha Miller is a rising conductor, soprano, and educator in the Washington DC area. She is unrestrained by any genre and thrives in diverse musical settings, with a particular appetite for empowering singers to uncover their potential. Under her tutelage, some of her students’ achievements include Broadway International callbacks and Florida All State Ensemble invitations. Elisha is an Associate Conductor for the GRAMMY award winning National Children’s Chorus, and holds a private studio for voice and piano students. In her free time, Elisha can be found taking long bike rides, turning a practice room into a recording studio, or making extravagant messes in the kitchen.