Conductors and Accompanist
Alyssa Cossey (she/her/hers) is Assistant Professor of Choral Music and Music Education at the University of Arizona where she conducts the University Community Chorus, Coro, and the Wildcat Choir, teaches undergraduate Methods and Techniques for Secondary Vocal Music Education and Introduction to Music Education as well as graduate seminars: Techniques for the Choral Teacher-Conductor, Historical Research in Music Education, and Teaching Music in Higher Education. Dr. Cossey is also responsible for overseeing student teachers and advising Conducting and Music Education graduate students. In addition to her teaching responsibilities she is in high demand as an adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor and presenter and has presented at state and regional conferences in Alaska, Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, New Mexico, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, North Carolina, and Texas.
Dr. Cossey holds a DMA in Choral Conducting from Michigan State University, an MM in Conducting from California State University, Fullerton, and a BA from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.
As a Los Angeles native, she sang in the premiere women’s chorus, Vox Femina Los Angeles, under the direction of Dr. Iris Levine, and has been invited to sing at venues including the Hollywood Bowl, the Pantages Theatre, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall with renowned conductors and composers including John Williams, Grant Gershon, and James Conlon. She is also an inaugural member of the professional-level women’s choir mirabai, which sings and tours under the direction of Dr. Sandra Snow, and can be heard on their debut CD “Ecstatic Songs,” released in March 2018.
In addition to conducting and teaching, Dr. Cossey has a passion for investigative historical research. Her article on Haydn’s secular canons, “Adding Canons to the Canon: Franz Joseph Haydn’s Die Weltlichen Kanons,” was featured in the August 2018 issue of the Choral Journal. Previous research areas have included unpublished documents on the commission and premiere performance of Randall Thompson’s Frostiana, and in 2018 she visited the Britten-Pears Foundation in Aldeburgh, Suffolk to review his original manuscripts and complete her comparative study of Britten’s written scores to his conducted performances.
Dr. Cossey holds memberships with the American Choral Directors Association, Chorus America, the National Collegiate Choral Organization, the College Music Society, and the National Association for Music Education. She currently serves as the Arizona ACDA Collegiate Repertoire and Resources Coordinator and is a member of the Western Region American Choral Directors Association Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee.
Previously, Dr. Cossey taught middle and high school choir in the L.A. area for nearly a decade. During her tenure her choirs consistently received Superior ratings at festival, with invitations to perform at the state and national level, and enrollment in her programs more than doubled in size under her leadership.
Graduate Assistant Conductor
Mengda Jiang (she/her/hers) is a choral conductor and educator in her first year of doctoral studies in Choral Conducting at the University of Arizona.
Mengda has been participating in choirs since she was a child. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Chemistry from the University of Science and Technology Beijing, she decided to commit herself to the choral art and a tireless pursuit of its beauty. In September 2017, she entered China Conservatory of Music to study choral conducting under the guidance of Prof. Wu Lingfen. During her graduate studies, her academic performance was top of her class for three consecutive years. In addition, she has participated in a large number of rehearsals and performances, leaving her musical footprint all over China. She has performed in the National Centre for the Performing Arts, Forbidden City Concert Hall, Beijing Concert Hall, Qingdao Opera House, Gulangyu Concert Hall, etc. On top of this, Mengda has been actively involved in various master classes, including those taught by María Guinand, Barlow Bradford, Dr. T.J. Harper, Fred Sjöberg, Romans Vanags, Dr. Arpad Töth, and Prof. Ulrich Windfuhr.
Mengda has led many types of choirs, from children’s choirs to intergenerational adult choirs. She has led the Feitian Singers of ASEE, BUAA in wining the University and College Choirs Gold II at the Olympic Chorus Festival, Sochi, Russia, as well as the Silver Medal in the Adult Mixed Chorus category at The 4th Chorus Heart International Chorus Festival, Shanghai, China. She has also led the Percussion Group, China University of Geosciences in winning the Gold Medal for Chinese Traditional Group Percussion at the 2018 Beijing Student Art Exhibition.
Bulgarian pianist Ina Selvelieva has performed as soloist with many orchestras and has appeared in numerous solo and chamber performances in her native country, as well as in Austria, Germany, UK, Italy, Romania, Serbia, Colombia, and the United States. She has won numerous competitions both in Bulgaria and the United States, including the University of Wisconsin-Madison Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, and the UW-Madison Beethoven piano competition. Her awards include the Pancho Vladigerov Competition in Bulgaria, the Grand Prix at the International Competition “Earth and People” in Bulgaria, and the Artist Presentation Society Award in St. Louis, Missouri, among others.
Under the guidance of Christopher Taylor, Ina Selvelieva earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at UW-Madison in 2007. Since then she has served on the faculty at St. Olaf College, UW-Madison, and Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She has presented master classes throughout the world, including Universidad de Antioquia, Medellin, Colombia; Universidad Nacional de Colombia – Conservatorio de Musica, Bogota; Xavier University of Louisiana, San Antonio College, and Stephen F. Austin State University, TX.
Her work as a collaborative pianist has taken her to festivals and summer camps, such as the Aspen Music Festival, American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and Interlochen Arts Camp. As a rehearsal pianist, Ina has held the Sir John Fisher Foundation Junior Fellow – Repetiteur position at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, UK. In 2015 she made her debut with the Scottish Opera as the Music Director and Pianist of the “Opera Highlights” Tour, and as a rehearsal pianist for the premiere of the opera “Pleasure” by Mark Simpsons with Opera Leads, UK. She has also worked as a Solo Repetiteur at the Wuppertal Opera in Germany. In addition, she enjoys working as an Assistant Director of the Allegra Academy and Festival in Bulgaria.