Ms. Kimiko Shimada, a distinguished soprano singer, has been the choral director of the Japanese Choral Society of Washington (JCSW) since its inception in 2001. She received her B.A. from Ochanomizu Women’s University and M.A. for Opera Studies from Tokyo University of the Arts. She further studied at the National Verdi Conservatory in Milan, Italy, where she received a perfect score.
Ms. Shimada has performed on numerous occasions in the U.S., including at the Kennedy Center and the National Cathedral for A Prayer for Japan. One of her performances at the National Cherry Blossom Festival was featured on CNN.
In March 2023, she directed and conducted JCSW's choral performance at Carnegie Hall as part of the New York Chorus Festival. In July 2023, she and JCSW collaborated with The Washington Chorus and performed at Wolf Trap with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Joe Hisaishi.
Dr. Maiko Chiba is JCSW's resident composer, arranger, and accompanist. Dr. Chiba received her B.A. in composition from the Tokyo University of the Arts. She received her master’s and doctoral degrees in composition from the University of Maryland's School of Music.
Dr. Chiba has composed music for various settings, including TV programs and concerts for contemporary music. Her awards include the Washington Award by the S&R Foundation, HDTV Award from NHK, and a Special Commendation from the Vienna Modern Masters Orchestral Recording Award (Austria). She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association, and teaches music theory and piano to children and adults.