Dr. Melissa Brunkan, WCS conductor as of fall 2021, brings 25 years of experience as an active clinician, conductor and vocal pedagogue. Currently Associate Professor of Vocal/Choral Music Education at the University of Oregon, she conducts the University Singers choir and teaches courses on conducting, vocal pedagogy, choral teaching methods, and teaching in higher education.
For the past 25 years, Brunkan has taught a wide range of singers in choirs and private voice work as well as serving as musical director with a variety of theater companies. Dr. Brunkan has sung and conducted professionally with choirs and churches as well as opera and theater companies throughout the United States. Her choirs have sung with artists and conductors from countries such as China, Venezuela, and Indonesia. As a singing voice specialist serving patients of otolaryngologists in several states, she has worked with a variety of singers, speakers, performers, actors, and artists, focusing on voice habilitation and rehabilitation.
Prior to her work at the university level, Brunkan taught and conducted singers in public and private schools in the Minneapolis/St, Paul, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Baton Rouge and Chicago areas, teaching students from pre-K through adult.
As a part of her university work, she is also an active researcher specializing in research on choral conducting, choral/vocal pedagogy, lifespan vocal pedagogy, singers with medical conditions affecting the voice, and conductor gesture and behaviors.
Vicki Brabham - Accompanist
Vicki Brabham is a Eugene native, active in musical theater, jazz, choral, and church music for over 35 years. Currently she teaches piano & conducts the Gospel Choir at Lane Community College, is the Director of the Division of Musical Theatre at The Shedd Institute, and serves on the music staff at First Congregational Church. Highlights of 2016 included performing in the pit orchestra for the national tour of The Book of Mormon, meeting Burt Bacharach after performing a tribute show with the Eugene Concert Choir, and being invited for the first time to perform with the Eugene Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Marin Alsop. Now a happy newlywed, she enjoys a peaceful life with 3 cats, a tween, a teen, and her beloved.