Mollie Stone currently serves as Director of World Music at CCC, as well as director of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir Presto Ensemble. She also serves as Choral Director and Lecturer at University of Chicago, a teacher for Village Harmony, and co-director/founder of the Chicago World Music Chorus.
Ms. Stone holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Amherst College, a Master of Music degree in conducting from Westminster Choir College, a Doctorate in choral conducting from Northwestern University, and has studied at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. She wrote her dissertation on how South Africans have adapted the choral music of the anti-apartheid struggle to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
In 2001, Ms. Stone received a grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to produce a DVD (Vela Vela) that helps American choral directors learn and teach black South African choral music in the oral tradition. Since then, she worked with Patty Cuyler and CCC to produce a new series of teaching DVDs on Georgian, South African and Bulgarian music as part of a series called “Raising the Bar.”
In 2006, Ms. Stone received another generous grant from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation to return to South Africa to study how South Africans are using choral music in the struggle against HIV. Ms. Stone currently lectures and gives workshops on black South African choral music across the United States and Europe.
Ms. Stone has studied and taught with the organization Village Harmony in the Republic of Georgia, Corsica, South Africa, England and across the United States. In 2011, she spent ten weeks touring across Europe, performing and giving workshops with the ensemble Northern Harmony in Corsica, France, Switzerland, Germany, England and Wales.
Ms. Stone grew up singing in Chicago Children’s Choir, and proudly directs the Presto ensemble of the Hyde Park Neighborhood Choir.