Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting

Congratulations to Dr. Rensink-Hoff, the latest recipient of the Leslie Bell Prize! 

About Rachel Rensink-Hoff

Rachel Rensink-Hoff is assistant professor of music at McMaster University, where she teaches courses in conducting, vocal-choral pedagogy and music education.

Prior to her appointment at McMaster, Rachel taught at Western University, where she completed a doctorate in music and a master’s degree in choral conducting. She has also studied at the Eastman School of Music Summer Conducting Institute, the VoiceCare Network at Saint John’s University and the University of Toronto.

Rachel conducts three choirs at McMaster University – the McMaster University Choir, the McMaster Women’s Choir and the McMaster Chamber Choir – and founded the latter two groups.

Under her leadership, the McMaster choirs have collaborated with numerous organizations in the Hamilton community, including the Hamilton Philharmonic, Opera Hamilton and the McMaster Institute for Music and Mind. They have also worked with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and Toronto Mass Choir.

Rachel currently serves as Past President of Choirs Ontario and Vice-President of Professional Development for Choral Canada.

About the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting

  • The $10,000 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting is awarded every two years to an emerging professional conductor who is a resident of Ontario and works with a professional, semi-professional or community choir. 
  • The prize is made possible by a financial contribution from the Leslie Bell Scholarship Fund and OAC. The scholarship fund, administered by OAC, was established in 1973 by the Leslie Bell Singers and friends of the late Dr. Leslie Bell.
  • The winner was chosen through a nominating and adjudication process managed by OAC. The jury comprised Lydia Adams (Caledon East), Carol Beynon (London), Ron Cheung (Toronto), Robert Filion (Ottawa) and Olivier Laguerre (Toronto).
  • Previous winners include Jamie Hillman (2012), Sarah Morrison (2010), Ken Fleet (2008) and Zimfira Poloz and Linda Beaupré (2006). Click here for a full list of past recipients.

About the Candidate's Eligibilty

  • Candidates must be a professional choral conductor, who resides permanently in Ontario or Québec municipalities in the National Capital region, and a Canadian citizen or Permanent Resident of Canada.
  • Candidates can work in a professional, semi-professional and/or community adult/youth choir(s) in all genres of music including gospel, jazz and folkloric.
  • Collectives, ensembles or groups of artists, or students (elementary, secondary, undergraduate at a college, university, conservatory or training program) are not eligible.

About the Nomination and Selection Process

The Ontario Arts Council (OAC) has instituted a process change for the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting. As of this year, a jury of music professionals chosen by OAC will be responsible for the nomination and selection of the award recipient. Unsolicited submissions or nominations will not be accepted.

For information about the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting , please contact Carolyn Gloude, Associate Awards Officer, at 416-969-7423 (toll free 1-800-387-0058 extension 7423) or cgloude@arts.on.ca