Dr. Heather MacIntosh


Affiliation: McGill University
Presentation: Interest Session, Research Paper Presentation
Title: Childhood Trauma and Choral Singing
Abstract: There is a paradigm shift in the trauma field towards engaging with childhood trauma survivors (CT) in activities that are creative, physical, and allow for social engagement. In this study 16 CT survivors attended a weekly choir over the course of the winter term, 2017. This presentation will discuss the findings of this study in depth.

Biography: Heather B MacIntosh, PhD, is a clinical psychologist, singer, and choral director, working in the field of trauma research as Associate Professor at McGill University in the MScA in Couple and Family Therapy in the School of Social Work. She is the recipient of the H Noel Fieldhouse Award of Distinguished Teaching in the Faculty of Arts. Dr. MacIntosh has directed numerous church and community choirs as well as been a soloist and chorister all of her life. She has experienced, firsthand, the transformative impacts of choral singing and engaging in choral communities. In recent years it has been her goal to integrate her life as a musician with her life as a trauma researcher. Through collaboration with Dr. Jean-Sébastien Vallée this goal is being realized in research projects such as this one. Jean-Sébastien Vallée, PhD (absent for the presentation). Dr. Vallée is Director of Choral Studies and Chair of the Conducting Area at the Schulich School of Music of McGill University in Montréal. Prior to his appointment at McGill University, he served as Director of Choral Studies at California State University in Los Angeles, and was on the choral faculty of the University of Redlands. Jean-Sébastien Vallée holds degrees from Laval University, Sherbrooke University, the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a doctorate in conducting from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Maestro Vallée is also director of the renown choir of the Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal, and artistic director of the Ottawa Choral Society.