Michelle DiBona Trefren

A Note from our Artistic Director:

It is with great joy that I assume the Artistic Director’s seat, where music, musicians, and community come to life.  From the podium, I have the honor of interpreting joy, love, grief, compassion, harmony, history, community, and camaraderie.  I am humbly tasked with establishing an environment where people work together to create beauty.  Cantate is a microcosm in which beauty is actively sought after, and yet dissonance is a necessary complement to consonance.  We are a varied group of unique individuals with unique voices woven together to create a tapestry of sound.  What a privilege it is to orchestrate paintings of sound, with the voices of Cantate Carlisle as the medium.  Together we move up the path of expressive music making with group connection, excellent vocal technique, and community connection as our mapmarkers.  We look forward to sharing our music with you! Thank you for taking a moment to learn about us. 


Michelle DiBona Trefren, conductor/pianist/organist/vocalist, is a music educator with a passion for music literacy and artistic music making. In addition to being the Artistic Director of Cantate Carlisle, she is the Director of Music Ministries at Second Presbyterian Church, Carlisle, PA, and has worked with musical theatre groups from Fayetteville up through Harrisburg. 

Prior to working in Central PA, Michelle taught at Yokohama International School and directed the Tokyo International Children’s Choir.  She has worked with public and private choirs ranging from the elementary to collegiate level, including the Princeton Girl choir and Schola Cantorum of Westminster Choir College. 

Michelle has sung in choirs at venues ranging from the Philadelphia Kimmel Center, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Berlin Philharmonic.  A graduate of Syracuse University, BM in Piano Performance, and of Westminster Choir College, MM in Conducting, she has continued her studies to include Teacher Training at Rider University, Teaching Kodaly, and summer chamber choir programs at Westminster Choir College.  

To supplement her musical life, she revels in speaking French, martial arts and running.  Michelle especially loves spending time outdoors with her husband, daughter, son and two dogs.