Speakers and panelists

Elvire de Paiva e Pona, MA, is a classically trained singer who earned her Master’s degree in Vocal Performance from Anton Bruckner University, in Austria. She has performed internationally for over 10 years, singing in operas and concerts ranging from classical to French chanson. She is a passionate singing teacher with additional degrees in Psychology and Vocal Pedagogy. Based in Vienna, she teaches individual and group singing lessons and facilitates music classes for young children. She first learned about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) as a Master’s student and experienced great benefit incorporating it into her life as a musician. She went on to write her thesis on using ACT to enhance music performance and teaching. After graduating, she co-authored an article with David Juncos on using ACT as a performance anxiety treatment and performance enhancement method for musicians. She currently uses ACT in her music lessons to help enhance students’ performance and well-being. Learn more about Elvire

Jenni Reineke is a German mezzo soprano, educator and leadership coach who fulfilled her voice studies at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold, with Gerhild Romberger and Manuel Lange. Previously, she studied piano and joined several conducting courses and masterclasses due to her curiosity in the field of choral music. Today, as a member of various professional choirs, like Cappella Amsterdam and the Zürcher Sing-Akademie, she works in Germany, the Netherlands and in Switzerland. As a soloist, Jenni focuses on the art of Romantic and Contemporary Song and alto parts of concert and Oratorio repertoire. Aiming to connect the perspectives of singers and the conductor, Jenni sees situations from both sides. More about Jenni


Sophie Dowden is the Project and Fundraising Manager at the European Choral Association – Europa Cantat, where she leads the EPIC project, supporting the internationalisation of the careers of emerging musicians. She also leads on the application of SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities in cultural organisations for the SHIFT project, and co-coordinates the Training Leading Voices project, which supports the international career development of choral and vocal leaders. She was formerly Policy Officer at Culture Action Europe and prior to this developed materials for and supported the launch of the Strategy 21 website. Sophie has a Masters in World Heritage Studies from the University of Birmingham.

Jamie Munn (Nevis Ensemble, chief executive) has worked on music projects and for music-based organisations in Berlin, Nairobi, Mumbai , Dubai and Hong Kong, as well as leading workshops in Cambodia, Israel and the Palestinian Territories, and Thailand. He was General Manager of Live Music Now Scotland, and has worked on projects for the European Music Council, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Glasgow UNESCO City of Music. He is on the Board of Trustees of Drake Music Scotland, St Mary’s Music School, and Mendelssohn on Mull Festival. More info on Jamie and the Nevis Ensemble

Anne-Christine Wemekamp is the first soprano and artistic director of Wishful Singing, a female a cappella group  which performs Gregorian, renaissance and baroque to folk music and close harmony, as well contemporary repertoire. During the pandemic, they organised various online activities to maintain their connection with their audience. In 2020, they reached more than 6000 participants with two online courses in Gregorian chant. In 2021, they launched Zing je Sterk (‘Sing for health’), a programme in which people with long Covid self-manage their recovery through singing and breathing exercises. As of now, this course had 1500 participants. The project will be continued to include patients with cancer and other long term illnesses. More about Wishful Singing and Anne-Christine

Paul Smith is an innovative and creative performer, conductor, composer, an inspirational educator and an empowering public speaker. As co-founder of Voces8, author of The Voces8 Method and CEO of the Voces8 Foundation, his annual programme sees him working globally in prestigious concert venues, festivals, schools and universities. In 2020, the online LIVE from London festivals set a benchmark for artistic collaboration and provided performers, composers and arts organisations from around the world with a focus during a time of great upheaval. The VOCES8 Digital Academy was also launched in 2020, giving the opportunity for choirs and individuals to learn choral works online. Learn more about Paul and the Voces8 Foundation


PANELISTS for the ‘Chemistry within the choir’ session

Angeliki Ploka, conductor Greek Radio Choir
Ingvild Skaatan, managing director Norwegian Soloists Choir (Tenso Member)
Neris Özen, project coordinator Turkish Radio Choir (Tenso Member)
Laura Lopes, singer (and Tenso Network Europe Coordinator)