Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting

Congratulations to Jamie Hillman, the recipient of the 2012 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting! The $10,000 Prize will be presented to Mr. Hillman at the Chatham Kent Children’s Chorus Christmas concert on Sunday, December 16. 2012/12/03

Established by The Leslie Bell Singers and friends of the late Dr. Leslie Bell in 1973, the $10,000 Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting is awarded every two years to an emerging professional conductor who works with a professional, semi-professional or community choir. 

Jamie Hillman is a conductor who has directed numerous ensembles including the Chatham-Kent Treble Choir, Rosa Cantorum Women’s Choir (Rosebud, Alta.), Boston University Concert Chorus, Boston University Women’s Chorale, Prairie Masterworks Chorale & Orchestra (Three Hills, Alta.), Worcester Children’s Chorus (Worchester, Mass.), and the Manado State University Choir (Indonesia).

His choral compositions have been performed by ensembles including the Amadeus Choir of Greater Toronto, Boston Children’s Chorus, Les Choristes (University of Western Ontario), Oakville Children’s Choir, and numerous other school, church, and community choirs. His popular Christmas carol, Who Would Have Thought?, was recently published by Cypress Choral Music (Vancouver, B.C.). He is also a tenor soloist who has performed with the Nathaniel Dett Chorale and the Windsor Classic Chorale & Classic Players. 

Mr. Hillman has been an instructor for the Thames Institute of the Arts at St. Clair College in Chatham, and has served as Director of Music at Grace Lutheran Church in Mitchell and Co-Director of Music at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Chatham. Jamie Hillman is a voice and piano examiner for Conservatory Canada, and has adjudicated and guest conducted at festivals in Canada, the U.S. and southeast Asia.

He holds an ARCT diploma (Piano Performance) from the Royal Conservatory of Music, a Bachelor of Music degree (Honours Music Education) from the University of Western Ontario, and a Master of Music (Choral Conducting and Literature) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a candidate for the Doctor of Musical Arts degree (Conducting) from Boston University, where he has been named a Boston University Prison Arts Scholar.

In choosing Jamie, the jury noted that:

"Jamie showed skilled and artistic conducting technique. His supportive and encouraging communication with the choir produced a relaxed yet focused performance."


About the Prize

  • The Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting is awarded every two years to an emerging professional choral conductor and carries a cash award of $10,000.
  • Founded in 1973 by the Leslie Bell Singers and friends of Dr. Leslie Bell, the Leslie Bell Prize honours Dr. Bell’s extraordinary contribution to choral music through his work as a conductor, educator and composer.
  • The prize is made possible by a financial contribution from the Leslie Bell Scholarship Fund and the Ontario Arts Council (OAC).
  • The laureate will be announced in fall 2012.

About the candidate’s eligibility

  • 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