Honorees | Spring Gala 2024

Dr. Marcela Molina

Dr. Molina has been leading the Tucson Girls Chorus since 2006, first serving as Artistic Director and taking the helm as Executive Director in 2011. Under Dr. Molina’s guidance, the Tucson Girls Chorus has grown significantly in programming and community engagement. With her leadership, the TGC has transformed into a vibrant and collaborative organization that creates access to inclusive programming for youth, and provides resources to music educators and support to their classroom all year-round. In addition to her work with the TGC, Dr. Molina serves as Director of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Chorus.

Born in Bogotá, Colombia, Dr. Marcela Molina holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and the University of Arizona. She has contributed articles to Antiphon, and the books Teaching through Performance in Choir, Volume 2 and Choral Reflections: Insights from American Choral Conductor-Teachers. She was named 2019 Choral Director of the Year by Arizona American Choral Directors Association (AzACDA), and she often serves as a clinician and guest conductor for choral festivals around the country. Dr. Molina has served on the board of the AzACDA as well as standing committees for ACDA Western Division. She currently serves on the board of Chorus America.

Dr. Julian Ackerley

Director of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus since 1980, Julian Ackerley has achieved acclaim as an accomplished conductor and administrator. He has taken the choristers on performance tours spanning five continents and over 30 countries. Under his direction, the Chorus has made numerous recordings and has collaborated with national symphony orchestras. The state’s highest arts commendation, The Governor’s Arts Award, was presented to the Chorus

Dr. Ackerley is an experienced teacher, having taught music at all levels from elementary to university students. He received his doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Arizona with emphasis in music education, vocal performance and choral conducting. He is a frequent guest clinician.

Dr. Ackerley served as the National Boychoir Chair for the American Choral Directors Association and is a specialist in working with boys emerging voices. His Chapter “Oh Brother! Success with Boy Singers” is published in Voices in Harmony, Youth Choir Leadership, Education, and Artistry. He was selected Choral Director of the Year by the Arizona ACDA Chapter.

In partnership with his wife Jane, Dr. Ackerley’s dedication to artistic quality and the well-being of his choristers has been key in building the international reputation of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus.