Mildred Ann Roche is a proud alumna of the Converse class of 1979. After graduation, she spent three years in Spartanburg teaching at the Pre-College (now Lawson Academy) and accompanying for the opera and voice studios.
Mildred went on to earn a Master of Music degree in vocal accompanying from Boston University, where she studied with Allen Rogers. While in Boston, she served as coach/accompanist for the Boston University Opera Theater, as staff accompanist for the BU Vocal department, and worked with many local opera and choral groups. Mrs. Roche spent the summers from 1981-1996 as coach/accompanist for the Brevard Music Center Opera Workshop.
In 1988 Mildred returned to work for Converse and she became full-time in 1996. She is director and coordinator of the Accompanying Program, works directly with the Opera program, and teaches related classes such as Song Literature, Diction, Musicianship, and Accompanying. She is the faculty advisor to Delta Omicron and the Newman Club.
“Converse is my second home and my extended family.”
Besides her duties at Converse, Mrs. Roche is Minister of Music at St. Paul’s Catholic Church, and has been the music director for many of the productions of the Spartanburg Repertory Company, a community opera/operetta group. She has worked with singers and directors such as Phyllis Curtin, John Haber, Richard Cassily, Shirlee Emmons, Frederica von Stade and Thomas Dunn, and she has performed in recital with Mark Oswald and Sylvia McNair.
Mildred enjoys spending her summers with her husband John, also a musician, and their six children: Katie, Marija, John, Michael, Sabrina, and Emily.
In recent summers Mildred has been on the staff of the MasterWorks Festival at Converse and the Bassi Brugnatelli Symposium in Robbiate, Italy.