Evelyn Troester DeGraf (Founder and Artistic Director of GHOSTLIGHT) is an internationally accomplished musical director, choral conductor, and music educator. Originally from Germany, Evelyn received her Masters degree with a dual concentration in performance and music education at the renowned University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich in 2005. She is currently a Doctoral Candidate and Teaching Assistant at Columbia University’s prestigious Teachers College. Mrs.DeGraf's focus on pedagogy and psychology has led her to develop teacher training workshops on creativity development and leadership, the subject of which she was invited to lecture at The ECONOMIST Human Potential Conference in New York. An enthusiastic teacher, Evelyn has taught piano and voice for over a decade to all ages, and especially enjoys offering choral and jazz improvisation classes.
As a well-travelled, versatile musician, Evelyn finds herself equally at ease singing Strauss, Kurtág, de Falla, or Thelonious Monk. Throughout her singing career, Mrs. DeGraf has had the opportunity to work with master artists such as James Levine, Guiseppe Sinopoli, Candace Goetz, and Rhiannon. Currently, Evelyn studies with renowned voice teacher extraordinaire, Neil Semer. She released “Mind,” her solo debut album as a vocalist in 2006 on Fluxx Records, featuring a mix of jazz and popular music. She is also an accomplished pianist, guitarist, and has studied organ with Andrew Henderson and Jim Lake. Evelyn performs regularly as a substitute cantor, organist, and choral director at the Sacred Hearts and St. Stephen's Church Choir in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.
Evelyn, or “Evi,” as she is known amongst her friends, is a lover of the written word, Yoga, the outdoors, and all things food related. She marvels at the people that the arts have brought into her life and the invaluable gifts she receives from making music with GHOSTLIGHT.