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José Daniel Flores-Caraballo joins the 
VSO as Chorus Director

José Daniel Flores-Caraballo

José Daniel Flores-Caraballo

The Vermont Symphony Orchestra has appointed José Daniel Flores-Caraballo as Chorus Director. He succeeds Robert De Cormier who retired following a 20-year tenure and whose timeless dedication and endless passion allowed the VSO Chorus to grow and become recognized for its merits and outstanding music presentation.

“I am thrilled to be the new Director of the VSO Chorus.  It is a great honor, indeed, following the footsteps of a major figure of the choral world, Robert DeCormier,” said Flores. The search yielded nearly 60 applicants from all over the globe with finalists coming to Vermont to audition with the Chorus.

Flores recently became the new Artistic and Executive Director of Albany Pro Musica. Before this he was artistic director, conductor and founder of the Atlantic Symphonic Chorus and Orchestra, the Atlantic Schola Cantorum, and the Atlantic Children’s Chorale.  Flores-Caraballo also served as director of music and organist for the Community Church of Vero Beach, where he directed the 73-member Chancel Choir and all guest instrumental ensembles and orchestras.  Flores helped establish Vero Beach as a choral, concert, and cultural destination thanks to his excellence in teaching and performance. Prior to moving to the continental U.S., Flores was Dean of Academic Affairs at the Conservatory of Music founded by Pablo Casals in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A gifted teacher, Flores exhibits remarkable patience, good humor, collegiality and aesthetic creativity – a unique combination of talents that empowers musicians and singers alike to perform at the highest levels while having fun.

“I am delighted we have found someone whom the VSO Chorus members really like.  He’s a young and dynamic conductor who will devote lots of energy to the VSO Chorus, and I look forward to working with him,” said Jaime Laredo, Music Director of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. Equally, Flores looks forward to “a musically-rewarding collaboration with Jaime Laredo and the rest of the VSO artistic leadership.”

Flores’ comprehensive training includes a doctorate in Sacred Music with an emphasis on Choral and Instrumental Conducting from the Graduate Theological Foundation, a master’s in Choral Conducting and Organ from the University of Illinois, and a bachelor’s in Music Education and Instrumental Conducting from the Conservatory of Music in San Juan.

Flores is featured as conductor and organist on numerous recordings, including several world premieres.  He periodically joins his brother Marcos Daniel in a touring show titled The Dueling Brothers in which José plays the organ and Marcos the piano in this celebration of a rivalry between instrument aficionados. The brothers perform alone and together adding some comedy to a program filled with challenging repertoire.  Honors and awards include several First Prizes and Gold Awards in choral concert competitions.

Flores will be responsible for the preparation of the VSO for performances with the Orchestra, and will conduct other VSO Chorus concerts.  Flores remarked, “Vermont has a strong choral tradition and I am elated to be part of this beautiful state’s artistic family.”

José Daniel and his wife Dharma enjoy contact with nature and are delighted with the idea of driving though Vermont for VSO rehearsals and performances.

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VSO welcomes new Development Director

Karen Paquin

Karen Paquin

In mid-July the Vermont Symphony Orchestra welcomed Karen Paquin as the Development Director.  Paquin will be responsible for the VSO’s development activities, building relationships, organizational support and developing strategic and innovative approaches to achieving fundraising goals.

She joins the VSO team from the Jera Institute, a business services consulting company located in Montreal, Quebec.  At the Jera Institute she served as Executive Director, writer and editor.  She also has directed development activities for several non-profits.  During her successful work in in the non-profit sector, she directed individual giving, capital/endowment and challenge grant campaigns.  Paquin holds an M.S. in Geography, Planning and Environment from Concordia University in Montreal and a B.A in Geography/Environmental Studies from UCLA in Los Angeles, Calif.