VICTORIA QUALLS ATKINS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Victoria Qualls Atkins is thrilled to join the ranks of Chorale des Amis as its new Executive Director! Having served as Director of Choirs for 13 years at L.J. Alleman Fine Arts Magnet Academy in Lafayette, LA, Mrs. Atkins is excited to start a new chapter as a Homeschooling Mom and Youth Choir Director. As an educator, Mrs. Atkins focuses her instruction on healthy vocal practices and intense passion for both Choral and Solo singing, and on developing Personal Integrity within her students.
Under her direction, LJA choirs consistently earned Superior ratings at both District and State Music Performance Assessments. LJA choral ensembles have also performed with the Acadiana Symphony Orchestra and the Lafayette Concert Band multiple times, and were selected as a featured choir at the Louisiana ACDA State Conference in 2012. In 2014, Mrs. Atkins was honored to be named Middle School Teacher of the Year by the Lafayette Education Foundation.
Mrs. Atkins holds a Bachelor of Vocal Music Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, where she studied choral conducting with Dr. James Haygood, and voice with Mr. Shawn Roy. She has conducted Honor Choirs and judged Assessments throughout Louisiana, and is also a Cantor at St. Pius X, and St. Basil Catholic Churches. Professional organizations include the American Choral Directors’ Association, Louisiana Music Educators’ Association, and National Association for Music Educators. Mrs. Atkins lives a life of joy in Lafayette with her husband, Ken, their twins, Vance and Cecilia, and their Pound Puppy, Jean.
HOLLY GREFE, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Holly Grefe is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Chorale des Amis, Youth Choirs of Acadiana, as well as Director of Choirs at Lafayette High School. Additionally, she serves as Director of the St. Mary Mother of the Church Adult Choir in Lafayette, Louisiana. Her choirs have performed throughout the United States in venues such as Symphony Hall in Chicago, the Tivoli Theater in Chattanooga, and twice at Carnegie Hall in New York. Over the past 26 years, her students have toured 39 times and have accumulated over 180 District, State and National Awards.
Ms. Grefe earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Music and Studio Art from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota. She received a Master’s Degree in Vocal Music Education, with emphasis in Choral Conducting, from Florida State University where she studied with Dr. Judy Bowers, Dr. Kevin Fenton, and Dr. André Thomas. Additionally, under the tutelage of Anne Eisen and Lamar Roberston, she earned Level I & II Kodaly Certificates from McNeese State University. As a 1995 Teach For America Corps member, she spent four years teaching choral music at Crowley High and Middle Schools in Crowley, Louisiana.
Ms. Grefe holds the distinct honors of being selected the 2019 Worldstrides National Teacher of the year and the 2013 Lafayette Education Foundation High School Teacher of the Year. She is a member of Louisiana Music Educators Association as well as American Choral Directors Association where she serves as the State High School Repertoire & Standards Chairperson. Ms. Grefe serves as a guest director, clinician, and adjudicator for many events throughout the Southern region.
This project, for which Chorale is truly grateful, is supported by an External Agencies Funding Program grant, sponsored by Lafayette Consolidated Government and administered by the Acadiana Center for the Arts.