Ibis Betancourt is a graduate student studying choral direction under Dr. Patrick Walders. Originally from Mexico, Betancourt has taken over the role of conductor for the new women’s choir here at SDSU. Betancourt first became interested in choral direction during her undergraduate years at the University of Veracruz. “I went to Cuba for an international choir festival and it was like ‘Oh, I’m in love,’” said Betancourt. After she graduated in 2010 with a BA in Music Education, Betancourt decided she wanted to come study in America.
Becoming the conductor of the women’s choir at SDSU has been both a fulfilling and challenging task for Betancourt. Since she received her music education in Spanish, having to switch to conducting in English was a tall task. “The challenges are for me as a conductor,” said Betancourt. “It’s my first time teaching and English is not my native language which brings me some complications.”
Betancourt is torn between two potential career paths. On one hand she wants to work with big choirs and professional musicians. On the other hand, she wants to give back to her home country and simply make music with anyone who is interested. “Choir is the only opportunity these children have because they don’t have to buy an instrument to sing,” said Betancourt.