Liza Calisesi Maidens

Assistant Professor, Director of Choral Activities



DMA in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University, MM Westminster Choir College, BA Central College


Liza Calisesi Maidens, DMA, received her DMA in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University, and she holds degrees from Westminster Choir College (MM) and Central College (BA). Her research centers around the expansion of the choral canon. For example, her doctoral research, “20th-century British Commissions and the Democratization of Music,” highlights two treble choral-orchestral works by Imogen Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, which were commissioned by the two largest women’s organizations in Britain. And, in March of 2021, she co-presented a research session, “Reconsider the Canon: bringing the past to the present,” at the National ACDA Conference. 

Prior to her appointment at UIC, Dr. Calisesi Maidens was a member of the conducting faculty at Eastern Michigan University from 2015-2021, where she conducted EMU Vision (formerly Women’s Choir), EMU Voces, and EMU Express. She serves as a board committee member for mirabai - a professional ensemble led by Sandra Snow to enhance the artistic expectations of women’s choral singing - and, she has served on the board for Michigan-ACDA, a network of professionals who seek to strengthen the choral arts. Liza has sung professionally with the Philadelphia Symphonic Choir, mirabai, and sounding light.