Désirée LaVertu is a gifted conductor, voice teacher, soprano, and pianist. LaVertu is the Director of Choral & Vocal Activities at Occidental College, where she conducts the Oxy Glee Club and teaches voice and conducting. She is also artistic co-director of the Idyllwild Arts Festival Choir. Previously, she was Director of the Glee Clubs at Caltech, and was on the voice faculties of Chapman University and the summer graduate program at CSU Los Angeles. Ensembles under her direction have sung throughout the United States and Europe, including appearances at the National Cathedral, the Navy Academy Chapel, Stanford Memorial Chapel, St Patrick’s Cathedral (Dublin), the Basilica de Nuestro Padre (Seville), Peterskirche and St Stephan’s Cathedral (Vienna) and the Salzburg Cathedral.
Conducting musical theater is also a passion. She has been music director and conductor of Urinetown, Hairspray, A Little Night Music, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, The Drowsy Chaperone, Godspell, and others plus countless opera/musical theater scenes, showcases, and cabarets.
As a soprano, LaVertu specializes in the oratorio repertoire, and made her Walt Disney Concert Hall debut in 2005 as soprano soloist in Poulenc’s Gloria, conducted by Grant Gershon. Other solo performances include Vaughan Williams/ Dona Nobis Pacem and Faurė/Requiem at Disney Hall, Brahms/Ein Deutches Requiem, Haydn/Lord Nelson Mass, Bach/Magnificat, Vivaldi/Gloria, Handel/Messiah, and Mozart/Requiem.
LaVertu maintains a busy private voice studio; her students have sung in professional touring companies of Rent and Hamilton and at Austin Opera, Frankfurt Opera, Seattle Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Opéra National de Bordeaux, Opera Philadelphia, and for the LA Master Chorale, Pacific Chorale, and Les Arts Florissants. She is a vocal coach for the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus, and she also works with actors in film and TV, most recently working with several cast members of Amazon Prime’s hit show The Boys.