The history of Vox Una
In the fall of 2021, during the height of the pandemic, I was searching for ways to better engage with the incredibly talented high school singers in the St. Louis area. In a casual conversation with my husband, he simply said: “You need to create your own choir.”
Thus, the idea for Vox Una Youth Chorale was born.
During my years at St. Louis University High School and Cor Jesu Academy, I have become acutely aware of a need for a high-level mixed ensemble for students attending single-gender high schools. Participating in District and All-State festivals are rewarding and challenging endeavors, but the opportunities are few, and the experiences short-lived. Our students deserve more.
VUYC was created to provide high school vocalists with experiences that will not only fill both musical and social voids, but expose them to challenging compositions that will enhance their love for music. As members of Vox Una, students will have the opportunity to perform with talented singers from all over the region, in world-renowned spaces.
VUYC is thrilled to partner with the Archdiocese and the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis for the 2023-2024 season as an artist in residence. As such, we are looking forward to singing on a concert as part of St. Louis Cathedral Concert’s season and will have use of the facilities for rehearsals as needed. Additionally, Vox Una will be invited to sing at a handful of liturgies at the Cathedral throughout the year.
I feel extremely privileged to be joining students on this unique and rewarding musical journey, and I’m excited about the potential and possibilities that lie ahead.
Meet the staff
Executive Director / Conductor
Ms. Akin is an accomplished musician and educator who brings a level of excellence, professionalism and precision to every aspect of her career. Born and raised in the small town of Eldridge Iowa, she received her Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance and Composition from Belmont University, magna cum laude. Ms. Akin earned her Master’s degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Arizona, where she conducted a number of collegiate ensembles, participated in the ACDA Western Division Conducting Masterclass, held a teaching assistantship through the University, led a community children’s choir, and sang professionally at St. Philip’s in the Hills Episcopal Church.
Ms. Akin is now in her 11th year as a high school choral director, and first year at Cor Jesu Academy. She previously held similar positions at Catalina Foothills High School in Tucson (2012-2014), Central Visual and Performing Arts High School in St. Louis (2014-2015), and St. Louis University High School (2015-2022) Ms. Akin’s students consistently participate in All-District and All-State ensembles, and earn superior ratings at district and state contests.
She is an accomplished accompanist and performer, and has been the music director and rehearsal accompanist for numerous musical theatre productions. Ms. Akin is married to classical guitarist W. Mark Akin, and they are the parents of a daughter, Selah.
Mrs. Carol Bauer is thrilled to serve as accompanist for Vox Una. Originally from the Chicago area, she studied piano under John Philips at Fontbonne University before receiving her Master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Colorado, Boulder. During her years there, she received a great deal of experience in accompanying, thanks to the staff accompanist assistantship she was awarded through the UCB music department.
For many years she has had the privilege of serving as accompanist for many community ensembles, musical theatre productions, school music programs and church services in the St. Louis area. She has taught in high school choral and instrumental programs for over 30 years and is currently the instrumental music instructor at Cor Jesu Academy. In her many years of as an accompanist, her most treasured memory so far is playing along with the Cor Jesu Choir on the organ at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome!
Meet the Board
W. Mark Akin, President
Kevin McKernan, Vice-President
Roy Hinkamper, Treasurer
Addie Akin, Secretary
Karen Flotte, Member
Vox Una is open to any student currently attending a single-gender Catholic high school in the St. Louis area. Complete an interest form to audition.
Read our frequently asked questions to learn more about Vox Una, including the type of music performed, tuition, time commitments, and more.