Barbara O’Keefe is a retired music teacher, who throughout her formal career from 1970-2005, shared her love of choral music with students in many corners of the province including Deer Lake, Cape St. George, Avondale, Grand Falls, St. John’s, St. Alban’s and Corner Brook. Following a short hiatus, she travelled north to teach music at a school in Nunavut in 2010. Her work included teaching the School Music Programs from Kindergarten to Level 111 along with the Choral Programs in Primary, Elementary, Junior High and Senior High Schools. From 1995-2005 Barbara also taught Instrumental Music at Presentation Junior High, Regina High and introduced the Band Program to the newly opened Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Corner Brook.
Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts (Music Major) from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and Master of Music (Choral Emphasis) from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. She also holds certificates in Music Education for Elementary Students from the College of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Conducting Course from Trinity College, Toronto, Ontario, and Choral Techniques in the High School and Training Young Voices from Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey.
Some of Barbara’s music related accomplishments include:
- Director of the Holy Heart of Mary Chamber Choir when the group appeared at the National Music Convention in Sackville, New Brunswick in 1982 and won provincial honours for best choral performance on four occasions.
- Co-director of two major musical productions Joseph (1984) and Cats and Other Tails (1985) at Holy Heart of Mary High School.
- Director of the 1000 voice Papal Choir (1984) for the liturgical celebration by His Holiness, Pope John Paul 11.
- Member of the elite University Singers at the University of Wisconsin, and took part in their ten-city tour of mid-western states in 1986.
- Director St. Alban’s School Choirs and Dolce Singers Chamber Choir who received provincial honours in 1989, outstanding performance of the Central NL Music Festival in 1991 and were recommended for the National Matheson Trophy for five years.
- Member of the Alumnae Choir, Corner Brook (1992-2005); Holy Heart of Mary Alumnae Choir (2005 – 2022); Philharmonic Choir of NL Symphony Orchestra (2005 – present); Les Ms Women’s Chorus (2007-2008); a founding member of Tickles and Sounds in 2005 which became the Red Island Resettlement Girl Trio; and is also a member of the Basilica Choir and serves as a Cantor there on a weekly basis.
Barbara’s love of singing and vast experience as a choral conductor ensures the continuous high quality of choral singing delivered by the Holy Heart of Mary Alumnae Choir to our audiences.