Bronte Ficek

Originally from Montana, Bronte graduated in May 2015 from the University of Southern California with degrees in choral music and neuroscience. Her musical journey began with piano lessons at age 4; later at age 8 she took up the violin. She played both instruments intensely up through high school, soloing with the Billings Symphony on Grieg’s Piano Concerto and Saint Saens’ The Poet and the Muse (violin), and playing violin with the Billings Symphony Orchestra, Billings Youth Orchestra, and Ceidlidh Fiddlers on a concert tour in Ireland. In college she fell in love with choral music and switched almost entirely to singing and choral conducting, singing with the CreSCendo Vocal Jazz Ensemble, USC Recital Choir, and USC Chamber Singers, with which she toured China, Korea, New Zealand, and Australia on concert tours. She has also conducted in performances with the USC Concert Choir and USC Choral Lab.

Bronte has worked extensively with children, having taught private piano and violin lessons to children ages 4-17 and in other group contexts, and having researched the impact of musical training on social, empathy, and brain development in children in her four years at the USC Brain and Creativity Institute. Recently she and her colleagues published a paper in Psychology of Music on the development of improvisation in singing in children. Intertwining music with neuroscience has been her signature niche - in February 2015 she performed a Brain & Music Benefit Lecture Recital combining musical performances with mini-lectures on how the brain processes and produces music, musical emotions, and musical synesthesia, among other topics. Since then she has been assistant and accompanist for Parkinsonics, a choir exclusively for people with Parkinson’s Disease, as part of a clinical trial with Johns Hopkins Medicine investigating the effects of group singing on impaired vocal production, movement, and well-being. Currently she works in clinical neuroscience research at Johns Hopkins Hospital, doing research within the Center for Music and Medicine as well as looking at the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation in aphasia and dementia.

Bronte continues to play violin with various Peabody recital orchestras and sang with the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the chorus of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in 2017.

Past Conductors:

  • Jaclyn Chapman, 2016 - 2017
  • Angelica Nolan Brooks, 2015
  • Laurel Dietz, 2015
  • Lori Beth Sink, 2015