Building community and creating social change by raising our voices in song.

Transgender Voices Festival: Song, Story, Justice, and Community - April 13 & 14

mari-valverde.jpg EliConleyByBrookePorter-2N8A4338.jpg ErikPeregrine.jpg

(Some of our guest artists, from left to right: Mari Esabel Valverde, Eli Conley, & Erik Peregrine)


Join One Voice Mixed Chorus for a Transgender Voices Festival April 13 & 14, 2018 in St. Paul, MN! 

Register here. (space is limited).

Research Poster Session - Call for Submissions  (Due March 1)

Detailed list of workshops and presenters.

Schedule at a Glance

Schedule at a Glance

Friday, April 13, 2018

Daytime venue: Unity Church-Unitarian, 733 Portland Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55104

Evening venue: Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.                Check-in/Registration (also throughout the day)

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.                Welcome and Morning Sing

9:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.      Trans & Gender Nonbinary Youth Chorus Program

9:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.        Private Lessons (by request until filled)

9:45 - 11:00 a.m.              Breakout Session 1: Workshops, Panels, etc.

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.    Breakout Session 2: Workshops, Panels, etc.

12:30 - 12:45 p.m.            Performance: Trans & Nonbinary Youth Festival Choir

12:45 - 1:30 p.m.              Lunch (onsite: box lunch or bring your own)

1:30 - 2:45 p.m.                Transgender Voices Festival Choir 

1:30 - 2:45 p.m.                Breakout Session 3: Workshops, Panels, etc.

3:00 - 4:15 p.m.                Breakout Session 4: Workshops, Panels, etc.

4:30 - 5:00 p.m.                Community Sing and Share

5:00 - 7:30 p.m.                Dinner (on your own)

7:30 - 9:30 p.m.                TransFusion Cabaret Performance


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Venue all day/eve: Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, Macalester College, 1600 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105 

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.                Check-in/Registration (also throughout the day)

9:00 - 9:30 a.m.                Welcome and Morning Sing

9:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.        Private Lessons (by request on registration form until filled)

9:45 - 11:00 a.m.              Breakout Session 5: Workshops, Panels, etc

11:15 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.    Breakout Session 6: Workshops, Panels, etc

12:30 - 1:30 p.m.              Lunch (onsite: box lunch or bring your own)

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.                Transgender Voices Festival Choir Rehearsal

1:30 - 3:00 p.m.                Breakout Session 7: Workshops, Panels, etc.

3:15 - 4:15 p.m.                Breakout Session 8: Workshops, Panels, etc.

4:30 - 5:00 p.m.                Closing: Community Story Share and Sing

5:00 - 7:30 p.m.                Dinner (on your own)

7:30 - 9:30 p.m.                TransFusion Cabaret  Finale Performance

Workshops and More

Workshops and More

Detailed list of workshops and presenters.

Highlights include: 

  • Open voice coaching sessions on transgender voice care with Mari Esabel Valverde, Eli Conley, and Wendy Vastine 
  • Transgender Chorus rehearsals with Erik Peregrine
  • Group singing and song-writing session with Eli Conley
  • Young trans and gender nonconforming people are invited to a festival youth choir program for ages 14-20, offered on Friday from 9-1:30, led by our guest artist André Heywood. While their students are participating in the youth choir, music teachers from area schools are invited to learn more about transgender voice in the educational workshops offered concurrently.
  • Exploring choral repertoire with images beyond typical gender roles, and music by LGBT composers
  • Exploration of language, rehearsal techniques and choral repertoire that addresses inclusive gender and gender-fluid themes with Jane Ramseyer Miller and Erik Peregrine
  • Transgender and Gender Non-Binary 101: Language and Terminology, and Much More
  • Shared Stories: A safe space for transgender, gender non-conforming and non-binary people to talk about singing and voice
  • Individual vocal coaching, exploring vocal issues and voice care for transitioning transgender singers
  • Training and workshops for professional voice teachers and choral directors who work with transgender singers

About The Festival

The festival offers a space for transgender and gender nonconforming (GNC) singers across musical genres and cultures to explore our voices and identities, grow as artists, and learn techniques for voice care. Trans/GNC people can explore singing, perhaps for the first time, and join voices with others. And for non-singers, there will be opportunities to explore voice in other ways like storytelling and poetry. The festival is also a place for voice teachers, music teachers, and choir directors to learn about transgender voice, gain a deeper understanding of trans and gender nonconforming experience, and receive tools to support singers in the classroom and beyond. Continuing education credits for music teachers will be available. 

A festival youth choir program for young trans and gender nonconforming people ages 14-20 will be offered Friday from 9-1:30. More info here. 

The Festival is organized by a team of transgender/GNC artists, singers, voice teachers and choral directors. Read more about the committee here.

Each evening there will be live performances featuring guest artists from the Festival as well as transgender/GNC singers and other artists from across Minnesota.  A chorus of transgender singers will perform as a culmination of their rehearsal over the two days. The performances are open to the public, no tickets will be required to attend, suggested donation of $0-25 at the door. The performance will be live broadcast and available to stream.

Educational videos are also planned for voice/music teachers and choir directors to learn about transgender voices beyond the festival.

Funds are available to help with travel from Greater Minnesota. 

For those coming from out of town, we will be offering housing with local community volunteer hosts or we have a special discounted rate arranged with the Saint Paul Hotel (call them at 1-800-292-9292 and ask for the Transgender Voices Festival rate).

Registration is now open, and space is limited.  Click here to register! 

Questions? Drop us a note

For more resources on transgender voices visit the GALA Choruses Resource Center.

Meet some of our guest artists!

Mari Esabel Valverde

Mari Esabel Valverde

Mari Esabel Valverde (she/her/hers) has composed choral, vocal, symphonic, and chamber works. Her music has been featured at conventions and festivals such as Chorus America, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Association of British Choral Directors, and Texas Music Educators Association. Her works are published by earthsongs, Santa Barbara Music Publishing, and Walton Music and self-published. She holds degrees from St. Olaf College, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, France, and San Francisco Conservatory of Music. 

Eli Conley

Eli Conley

Eli Conley (he/him/his) is a singer-songwriter & voice teacher. He leads community singing classes for LGBTQIA people and allies in the Bay Area, and teaches singing workshops around the country. He maintains a private voice studio, where he works with singers one-on-one. As a gay transgender man, Eli has a deep commitment to working within diverse LGBTQIA communities to build up their collective power, creativity, & resilience. Eli is a certified teacher of Somatic Voicework - The LoVetri Method™. He completed his training at the Contemporary Commercial Music Vocal Pedagogy Institute, and he continues to study to deepen his practice of this functional, body-based method of teaching singing. Eli has studied classical singing at Oberlin Conservatory and jazz vocal performance at Berklee College of Music. He is a former member of the International Orange Chorale of San Francisco and the Grammy award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus. 

Erik Peregrine

Erik Peregrine

Erik Peregrine (he/him/his or they/them/theirs) is the artistic director of Ensemble Companio, an award-winning New England chamber choir, music director of the Woodbury Chorus & Orchestra, and the assistant conductor of One Voice Mixed Chorus. Peregrine has previously held a diverse array of conducting and teaching positions across North America, including posts with Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, Vancouver Peace Choir, University of British Columbia Choirs, UBC Symphony Orchestra, and Spiritus Multi-Faith Choir. In demand as a guest clinician and lecturer, he regularly presents on topics related to transgender vocal pedagogy, inclusive rehearsal practices, and LGBTQ+ issues. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Peregrine earned his Master of Music in choral conducting from the University of British Columbia and his Bachelor of Arts in Music magna cum laude with honors from Lewis & Clark College.

Wendy Vastine

Wendy Vastine

Over the last decade, Wendy Vastine (they/them) has been teaching speaking and singing voice, and otherwise working towards vocal liberation primarily with transgender and non-binary people, as well as actors and vocalists of all styles and level of experience. They are also a performer/director/composer and otherwise creator of theatrical performances that break the rules of traditional theatre. Wendy has done extensive community organizing, and is fiercely dedicated to collective liberation. Meanwhile, identifying as someone who moves in-between, they have a special love for death work. They hold a BFA in theatre from New York University: Tisch School of the Arts, have trained extensively with members of the Roy Hart Theatre, are an NCVS trained vocologist, and are currently obtaining their degree Speech Language Pathology (graduating in Spring of 2018) from the University of Pittsburgh. While they enjoy nerding out over the brain and voice science, Wendy will always believe in magic, identify with psychopomps, and sing to plants.

Daniel Osprey Huffsmith

Daniel Osprey Huffsmith

Daniel Osprey Huffsmith (they/them/theirs) is a genderqueer song leader and music activist. Their song circles allow people to reconnect with the simple, yet powerful practice of making sound together. They write songs that are quirky, authentic, and fun to sing, with lyrics about pressing issues such as consent, gender identity, body image, and our relationship with the planet. The catchy tunes stay in your head for days, but it’s all good because they hint at answers that are relevant to now. Daniel Osprey has a band, called Osprey Flies The Nest, to help share their songs more widely. See for more info.

Alex Iantaffi

Alex Iantaffi

Alex Iantaffi (they/them/theirs or he/him/his), PhD, MS, LMFT is a therapist, Somatic ExperiencingⓇ practitioner, writer and independent scholar. They have been the Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Sexual and Relationship Therapy for over ten years and have researched, presented and published extensively on gender, disability, sexuality, bisexuality, polyamory, BDSM, Deafness, education, sexual health, HIV prevention, and transgender issues. Alex is passionate about healing justice and community based and engaged scholarship. They are a trans masculine, non-binary, bi queer, disabled, Italian immigrant who has been living on Dakota and Anishinaabe territories, also known as Minneapolis, MN, since 2008. Alex has recently co-authored the book "How to Understand Your Gender: a practical guide for exploring who you are" with Meg-John Barker (Jessica Kingsley Publishers). You can find out more about them at or follow them on Twitter @xtaffi

André Heywood

André Heywood

Born in Trinidad, André Heywood (he/him/his) grew up and studied in London, Ontario earning undergraduate degrees in both Biochemistry and Music Education, and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from The University of Western Ontario. A former chorister of the renowned Amabile Boys’ and Men’s Choirs, Mr. Heywood served as the group’s assistant conductor for two years before moving to Minnesota in 2007. Since then he has worked on the campus of Saint John’s Abbey and University, serving as Artistic Director of The Saint John’s Boys’ Choir, conductor of the Saint John’s Abbey Schola (monastic choir), Liturgical Music Director at Saint John’s Preparatory School, and as an adjunct faculty member at the university where he directs two ensembles and teaches graduate choral conducting. In 2013 he joined the faculty of the VoiceCare Network, and since 2016 has served as conductor of the National Catholic Youth Choir and director of the choir program at Ontario’s Interprovincial Music Camp. He has twice been awarded by the American Choral Directors’ Association of Minnesota – in 2011 with the VocalEssence Creative Programming Award, and in 2013 as the Outstanding Young Director of the Year. A highly sought after clinician, adjudicator, and guest conductor, Mr. Heywood is a well-known specialist in developing young male voices. He is currently a doctoral candidate in choral conducting at the University of Toronto, where he studies with Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt.

Erin N. Donahue

Erin N. Donahue

Erin N. Donahue (she/her/hers), B.M., M.A., CCC-SLP is a voice pathologist and singing voice specialist at the Blaine Block Institute for Voice Analysis and Rehabilitation and the Professional Voice Center of Greater Cincinnati. Erin holds a Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Florida, and received her Master of Arts degree in Speech Language Pathology from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Erin’s professional, clinical, and research interests include the singing voice, professional voice users, and transgender voice. She has had the privilege of helping transgender clients discover and develop voice and communication styles that are harmonious with their gender identities since 2012. Recently, Erin was recruited by Simucase to share her expertise to develop a module to train clinicians in evaluation of transgender voice. Erin has presented locally, regionally, and nationally on topics including vocal health and hygiene, performance voice, and transgender voice. She has authored and co-authored articles for professional publications including Journal of Voice, ASHA SIG-3 Perspectives, Chorus America, and VASTA. Erin continues to maintain an active vocal performance schedule, including regional professional musical theatre roles and choral performances.


The Venues

Friday (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.)

Unity Church-Unitarian
733 Portland Ave
St Paul, MN 55104

Click here for directions and parking information to Unity.

Friday (7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m.) and Saturday all day:

Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center
Macalester College
130 Macalester Street
St Paul, MN 55105

Click here for directions and parking information to Macalester.