ALP speaker series continues with Kalena Bovell, an orchestral conductor, poet, and educator

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On November 15, 2021

The arts, languages and philosophy speaker series will continue with Kalena Bovell, an orchestral conductor, poet, and educator. Bovell will present a talk titled “Life, the Career, and Everything In-between” at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 18, via Zoom.

Panamanian American conductor Kalena Bovell is not your typical classical musician and conductor. A self-proclaimed “Tattoo Loving Metalhead,” Bovell has been able to forge a career as the only Afro-Latina conductor in the United States. From working six jobs as an undergrad to a recent BBC Prom Debut, she will share her unorthodox journey and life as a conductor, poet, and educator.

This talk is free to attend and open to the public.

Kalena Bovell wields a distinctive voice as maestra, speaker, and poet. Having recently led the Chineke! Orchestra in her BBC Proms debut, Bovell’s twin focus on musical excellence and community engagement led to Connecticut’s Channel 3 News praising her as “one of the brightest stars in the world of classical music.” As guest conductor, she has worked with the Hartford Opera Theatre, New Britain Symphony, and a particularly memorable performance leading Hamilton star Leslie Odom Jr with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra. Now with the MSO full time as its Assistant Conductor, Bovell also leads the Memphis Youth Symphony. Among other accolades, she was previously named a finalist for the Taki Alsop Conducting Fellowship, a recognition given to talented female leaders in the conducting field.

For more information about the talk, contact the arts, languages, and philosophy department by phone at 573-341-4185 or by email at

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On November 15, 2021. Posted in Announcements, Student Announcements