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Barbara Staropoli

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Barbara Staropoli, S.S.J., is a Sister of St. Joseph of Rochester, New York, an author, singer and teacher of voice.

Early life and education[edit]

Staropoli was born in 1942 or 1943 to Frank G. and Marie E. Staropoli.[1][2] She joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1961, initially taking the religious name Sister Mary Francina.[3] In 1966 she received a Bachelor of Science degree from Nazareth College of Rochester.[4] She taught music at Sacred Heart Cathedral School and studied voice at Northwestern University;[5] in 1971 she obtained an M.Mus.[6] Staropoli later trained under the soprano Jan DeGaetani at the Eastman School of Music, graduating in 1982 with a Doctorate of Music Arts (D.M.A.) in vocal performance and literature.[7][8][9]

Career and publications[edit]

Staropoli commissioned and premiered "The Golden Vessel", William Ferris' 1976 song cycle of poems by Edna St. Vincent Millay.[10][11] In 1982 she gave one of the first performances of John Jacob Niles's setting of poetry by Thomas Merton.[12]

She worked at Nazareth College for 32 years, serving as a music teacher, department chair, and campus minister.[13][7] As of 2006 she sat on the college's Board of Trustees.[14] She plays host to the annual Barbara Staropoli Singing Competition held in Rochester and is a member of the National Association of Schools of Music.[citation needed]

Staropoli was elected Vice President of her congregation in 2003; she held this position until 2011.[15][7] From 2012 to 2017 she ran an afterschool program for refugee children.[7] In 2017 she became Director of Novices for her order.[7]

In late 2000, Hildegard Publishing Company (Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania), which specializes in the study of female composers and musicians, published a collection of Canzonettas by the Italian Baroque composer Francesca Caccini, translated and edited by Staropoli.[16]


  1. "Spotlight On: Sr. Barbara Staropoli". Gleaner. Vol. 42 no. 2. Nazareth College of Rochester. September 24, 1971. p. 6.
  2. "Death Notices". Democrat and Chronicle. March 18, 2004. p. 2B.
  3. "New Sisters of St. Joseph". The Catholic Courier-Journal. Diocese of Rochester. July 7, 1961. pp. 1, 2.
  4. "At Nazareth College: Sixty-five Degrees" (PDF). The Catholic Courier-Journal. Diocese of Rochester. August 5, 1966. p. 4.
  5. Bennett, Judy (May 17, 1970). "The Singing Sisters of Saint Joseph". Democrat and Chronicle. pp. 27, 29 – via
  6. Northwestern University: One Hundred and Thirteenth Annual Commencement. Northwestern University. June 12, 1971. p. 21 – via Search this book on
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Novitiate Directors | Federation of the Sisters of St. Joseph". Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  8. Staropoli, Barbara (November/December 1993). "If You Encounter a Great Teacher: Remembrances of Jan de Gaetani". Journal of Singing. 50 (2): 27–33. Check date values in: |date= (help)
  9. University of Rochester: One Hundred Thirty-second Annual Commencement Ceremonies (PDF). University of Rochester. May 9, 1982. p. 33. Search this book on
  10. Walsh, Michael (February 2, 1976). "Recital presents new composition". Democrat and Chronicle – via
  11. "Pan Pipes of Sigma Alpha Iota". George Banta Company. 1975. p. 3.[full citation needed]
  12. Weis, Monica (Fall 2006). "Merton Set to Music" (PDF). The Merton Seasonal: A Quarterly Review. 31 (3): 30–31. ISSN 0988-4927 Check |issn= value (help). Retrieved 13 August 2020.
  13. "30 Sisters of St. Joseph mark jubilees". Catholic Courier. Diocese of Rochester. May 4, 2011. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  14. Nazareth College Board of Trustees
  15. Clark, Matthew H. (June 11, 2003). "From the Bishop: June filled with celebrations, travel". Catholic Courier. Diocese of Rochester. Retrieved 11 August 2020.
  16. Cullivan, Rob (November 8, 2001). "Local writers, voices may fill Christmas stockings" (PDF). Catholic Courier. Diocese of Rochester.

External links[edit]

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