Valerie Yova
New England Regional First Place Winner 1981
National Council Winner 1981

Valerie Yova joined the staff of St. Athanasius (Antiochian) Orthodox Church in Santa Barbara/Goleta, California in January of 2010 as Music Director and Parish Administrator, after serving for five years as Music Director for St. Anthony’s (Antiochian) Orthodox Church in San Diego (2004-2009) and Director of Public Relations and Communications for Project Mexico, founded by her brother. She also co-founded the Academy for Orthodox Church Singing in San Diego in autumn of 2008.

Valerie grew up in Akron, Ohio, where her father was a protodeacon in the Romanian Episcopate. The soprano received a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Berea, Ohio, and a Master of Music Degree in Vocal Performance from New England Conservatory. While pursuing a performing career and studying in New York in the 1980’s, she served as a paid section leader at Holy Trinity (Greek) Cathedral in New York City and later as interim choir director at Holy Trinity (OCA) parish in Yonkers, New York. A finalist in the Loren Zachary Society Auditions and the Friedrich Schoor Competition, Valerie toured with New York City Opera, OperaWorks of Texas, and Pittsburgh Opera Theatre. After a move to Michigan, Valerie was employed full-time for eight years by the Lyric Chamber Ensemble with responsibilities in non-profit management, fund raising, grant writing, concert production/promotions, and board development. She sang regularly with the ensemble, which was comprised of principal players of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, from 1990-1998, and performed as a soloist with many other local and regional orchestras and performing organizations in song recitals and chamber music as well as opera, operetta, and pops repertoire.

Before moving to California in 2003, Valerie was Music Director at St. George Romanian Orthodox Cathedral (OCA) in Southfield, Michigan, for 14 years and was a member of the voice faculty at Concordia University in Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was a founder and the Artistic Director of the Orthodox Christian Chorale of Metropolitan Detroit, and served as Chairperson of the Music Committee for the Council of Orthodox Christian Churches in metropolitan Detroit for five years.


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