Jean-Sébastien Vallée

Academic title(s): 

Full Professor | Department of Performance (Sabbatical leave, Winter '24)

Conducting and Ensembles Area Coordinator

Director of Choral Studies

Jean-Sébastien Vallée
Music Performance
Ensembles & Conducting
Contact Information
Email address: 
jean-sebastien.vallee2 [at]
Alternate email address: 
jean-sebastien [at]
Area Coordinator
Elizabeth Wirth Music Building | Room A-632

D.M.A.  | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.Mus | University of California, Santa Cruz

Graduate Diploma | Université de Sherbrooke

B.Mus | Université Laval

Choral Studies & Conducting

Prof. Jean-Sébastien Vallée is a renowned Canadian-American conductor, scholar, and pedagogue known for his expertise in vocal, choral, and orchestral repertoires. With a career spanning over several decades, Vallée has conducted numerous ensembles across North America, Europe, and Asia, and has prepared choruses for some of the world's most prestigious orchestras including the Chicago and Toronto Symphony Orchestras, l’Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, and the National Arts Center Orchestra in Ottawa.

Dr. Vallée is Full Professor of Music Performance, Director of Choral Studies, and Coordinator of the Ensembles & Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University, and also serves as Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the renowned Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, and the 24-voice professional ensemble the Toronto Mendelssohn Singers.  He has previously served as the Director of Choral Studies at California State University, Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands. Dr. Vallée holds degrees from Laval University, Sherbrooke University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Prof. Vallée's passion for contemporary music is evident in his work, as he makes it a priority to premiere and commission works by young composers and program rarely performed repertoire. His research interests are varied and focus primarily on Renaissance French music, the oratorical works of Michael Tippett, and conducting pedagogy, more specifically the connection between audiation and gestural communication. Dr. Vallée was invited to present his research at several national and international conferences, including the American Choral Directors Association Conventions, Festival 500 in Newfoundland, the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference, Podium—the national convention of Choral Canada, the Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, and the World Symposium on Choral Music in Spain (2017), New Zealand (2020), and Portugal (2022).

Vallée's recordings have been broadcast internationally and include Lux (ATMA, 2017), Requiem (ATMA, 2018 – requiems by Fauré and Duruflé), and Distance (ATMA, 2021). His recent and upcoming engagements include concerts at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music in Budapest, a tour with the National Choir of Canada, and concerts with l’Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.


D.Mus |  Conducting

M.Mus | Conducting

Graduate Certificate | Choral Conducting

B.Mus Minor | Conducting

Choral Studies & Ensembles


Choral Literature

Schulich Singers

Concert Choir

University Chorus

Conducting Workshops & Tutorials

Teaching areas: 

Director of Choral Studies

Ensembles & Conducting

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