has been Artistic Director of the Central Maryland Chorale since the fall of 2001. Previously, she served as Associate Director and accompanist (of the Laurel Oratorio Society) from 1975-1999. She is a native of Detroit and maintains a diverse career as teacher, singer, accompanist/coach, and choral conductor. Since her appointment as Artistic Director, she founded the annual CMC Vocal Scholarship Competition for High School Students and initiated performing collaborations with the Maryland State Boychoir, Columbia Orchestra, Queen Anne’s Chorale, CCBC Chamber Singers and the Montgomery Philharmonic. In June of 2005, she led CMC members and the CCBC Chamber Singers in performing at the Vermont International Choral Festival and in June of 2011, CMC members had the distinctive opportunity to sing at Carnegie Hall.
Ms. Otal holds degrees in vocal performance from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music and the Peabody Conservatory of Music of the Johns Hopkins University. Professor Otal is currently the Music Program Coordinator and Concert Manager at the Community College of Baltimore County. She has also served on the faculties of Morgan State University, the Duke Ellington School of the Arts in Washington, DC, the University of Vermont, and the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda. Ms. Otal has been listed several times in “Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers,” as well as in “Who’s Who in America,” “Who’s Who Among American Women,” and Who’s Who Among American Educators.” In January 2007 she was honored as “Outstanding Community College Educator of the Year 2006” by the Essex-Middle River-White Marsh Chamber of Commerce.
Her professional vocal experience includes numerous performances with area and national opera companies (including the Washington Opera, Baltimore Opera, and Wolf Trap Opera) and choral societies, as well as concert and recital appearances. Ms. Otal has accompanied and assisted many respected choral and opera conductors, including the late Robert Shaw and is in demand as a vocal coach/accompanist in the region. She is a member of several professional organizations, including NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing) and the ACDA (American Choral Directors Association), where she chairs the Repertoire and Standards Committee for Two Year Colleges (MD/DC). She is also frequently engaged as an adjudicator/clinician in the Baltimore/Washington area. Additionally, she held the position of Director of Music at Glenmont United Methodist Church in Wheaton, Maryland from 1988-2012.