The American soprano and music pedagogue, Rochelle Ellis, holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and a Master of Music Education from Westminster Choir College of Rider University.
Rochelle Ellis has distinguished herself in a broad repertoire that extends from J.S. Bach and L.v. Beethoven to Verdi, Samuel Barber and Gershwin. Frequently engaged by today’s leading conductors, many of her most outstanding career successes have occurred in the concert hall. She has performed L.v. Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with the Houston Symphony Orchestra conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra conducted by Raymond Leppard, and the Oregon Symphony conducted by James DePriest. Her Carnegie Hall debut was as soloist in Schubert’s Mass in G and J.S. Bach’s Cantata BWV 140 with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the Westminster Choir conducted by Joseph Flummerfelt. The soprano was honored to give the world premiere of Hold Fast to Dreams composed by jazz great Dave Brubeck, and based on poetry by Langston Hughes. She has been a frequent soloist with the Berkshire Choral Festival in Massachusetts, as well as with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra. She made her New York City Opera debut as Serena in Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, and has also performed operas with Chamber Opera Chicago and Skylight Opera Theatre. Internationally, she has performed the Verdi Requiem with the National Opera of China in Beijing, sung opera favorites at the Prague (Czech Republic) Autumn Music Festival, and performed solo recitals in Osaka and Tokyo, Japan.
A resident of West Windsor, New JerseyJ, Rochelle Ellis is currently Adjunct Assistant Professor of Voice at Westminster Choir College of Rider University. In addition to maintaining voice studios at Westminster and at her home, she has been active in both Rider University and community outreach in music. She has taught in the Rider EOP summer pre-college program, as well as in the Westminster Conservatory High School Summer Vocal Institute, Middle School Vocal Camp, and High School Solo Vocal Artists Camp.
Locally, Rochelle Ellis was a visiting artist in the New Brunswick (New JerseyJ) Public Schools, working to bring classical music to urban students. In the West Windsor-Plainsboro School District, she initialized a district wide festival for African-American culture. She also presented a lecture/recital on the origins of African-American music from slavery until after the Civil War for the 10th grade U.S. History classes at West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South. With the Greater Trenton Symphony, she has frequently performed the lecture/recital “The Lady from Philadelphia”, highlighting the life and career of singer Marian Anderson. She coordinated the development of an opera outreach program for New Jersey Young Audiences, Inc., using Westminster students to perform for grade schools in the South Brunswick School District. In Japan, she did a lecture/demonstration on African-American singing style techniques for the Japanese Association for Research in Singing (JARS) at the Tokyo University of the Arts.