Who Is She

Personal information

Music Conductor, Professor
Joanna Medawar Nachef

What I have done for Lebanon

Since 2004, I included Lebanon in the U.S. Department of State initiated program, “Global Education Through Technology” with the Lebanese University and Notre Dame Univeristy in Louaize. This led to my music choral exchanges with the NDU, AUB, LAU, and Antonine University Choirs joining me at several historic performances at Carnegie Hall, 2010-2015. I also raised significant funds, organized and hosted  the NDU Choir Concert tour to Los Angeles in 2007,  and AU Choir to Los Angeles in 2014. Since 2011, I have given conducting courses at Anotnine University, guest lectured at AMIDEAST in 2014, and featured the youngest Lebanese classical composer with the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra.

Contact information / Private

549 Via Del Monte
Palos Verdes Estates, CA 90274
United States of America
3788456 310 1

Contact information / Work

El Camino Community College
16007 Crenshaw Blvd
Torrance, CA 90506
United States of America
6603593 310 1 - Ext: 3713
1 310 6603792


  • Doctorate Degree, Musical Arts/Choral and Instrumental Conducting, 1983-1985, University of Southern California, United States of America.
  • Master's Degree, Music/Church Music, 1981-1983, University of Southern California, United States of America.
  • Bacehlor Degree, Music/Piano Performance, 1978-1980, California State University at Dominguez Hills, United States of America.

Areas of expertise

  • Conducting
  • Choral Music
  • Vocal Music
  • Church Music
  • Music History
  • English
  • Arabic
  • French

Work history

  • Professor and Director of Choral Music, 1996 - present, El Camino Community College.
  • Adjunct faculty (Professor) at the Humanities Department, 1993 - present, California State University at Dominguez Hills.
  • Music Director, 1992 - present, California Academy of Mathematics and Science.
  • Artistic Director and Conductor, 1991 - present, Los Cancioneros Master Chorale.
  • Choir Director, 1980 - present, Peninsula Community Church.

Honorary office and memberships

  • Chair, Advisory Board, Torrance Performing Arts Consortium, 2018-present.
  • Founding Member, Vice President and Cultural Chair of the LA/Beirut Sister City Organization, 2006-present.
  • Member of the American Choral Directors Association, 1985-present.
  • Member of the Lebanese Ladies Cultural Society, 1995-present.
  • Charter Member of the African Diaspora of Sacred Music and Musicians, 2002-2011.


Publications highlights: 
  • Medawar Nachef, J. (2010). Arabic choral series. Monrovia, California: Emerson Music Publications.
  • Medawar Nachef, J. (2010). Ambassadors of harmony: original choral composition by Dr. Nachef. Monrovia, California: Emerson Music Publications.
  • Medawar Nachef, J. (2003). Reflections of a Beacon: ethnic and multicultural repertiore and standards chair. Cantate California, 15 (2), 16-17.
  • Medawar Nachef, J. (2002). An interview with Moses Hogan: R&S chair for multicultural and ethnic choral music. Cantate California, 13 (2), 6-7.
  • Medawar Nachef, J. (1997). Whom to ask? where to go? is this an authentic sound?: multicultural perspectives.Cantate California, 7 (2), 6.
Major achievements: 
  • Traveled under the auspices of the United States Department of State as a speaker and citizen diplomat to implement the "Global Education through Technology" project (GETT) in Italy, Ukraine and Lebanon.
Exhibitions, lectures & performances: 
  • Guest Conductor, “Haydn’s: Lord Nelson Mass” performance, Mid America Productions Series, Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York, May 2018.
  • Guest Conductor, “Haydn’s: Organ Mass” performance, Mid America International Productions Series, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Vienna, Austria, June 2016.
  • Conducting debut as the first female conductor in the Arab Region, “Handel’s: Messiah”, Beirut Chants Festival, Lebanon, November 2013.
  • Guest Conductor, “Beethoven’s: Symphony #8”, “Mozart’s: Vesperae Solennes” and featured George Tomb, youngest Lebanese composer with his composition “Hope”, the Lebanese Philharmonic Orchestra, Beirut, Lebanon, November 2014.
  • Guest Conductor, “Rutter’s: Mass of the Children” performance, Mid America Productions Series, Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York, May 2015.
  • Guest Conductor, “Faure’s: Requiem” performance, Mid America Productions Series, Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York, May 2013.
  • Guest Conductor, "Mozart's: Vesperae Solennes" performance organzied by Mid America Productions Series, Stern Auditorium, Carnigie Hall, New York, May 2010.
  • Living Legend Honoree and Guest Conductor, "Living Legends Concert" organized by the African Diaspora of Sacred Music and Musicians Series, Peninsula Community Church, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, April, 2010.
  • Lecturer and Conductor, "Gospel in summer Time" peformance organized by Al-Bustan Festival, Emile Bustani Auditorium, Lebanon, July 2009.
  • Guest Conductor, "Ambassadors of Harmony" performance organzied by the Mid America Productions Series, Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall, New York, March 2007.
  • Chorus Conductor and performer, "Andrea Bocelli's Las Vegas Performance", MGM Auditorium, Las Vegas, Nevada, December, 2007.

Awards and Distinctions

  • South Bay Magazine, Women’s Edition, Featuring 50 successful women in business, 2016 and 2018
  • Peninisula People Magazine, Cover Stories, 2015 and 2018
  • HOME Magazine, February 2018, “Joanna Nachef Ist Maestra of the Middle East” Article.
  • Featured in the "100 Influential Lebanese Figures around the world", 2017 publication.
  • Recognized as the first woman conductor of Lebanese-Arab descent.
  • Mu Phi Epsilon, Prestigious ACME Awardee, 2017.
  • Daughters of The American Revolution’s 2015 State Americanism Medal.
  • California Ladies Organization 2015 Mother of the Year Award.
  • El Camino College’s Distinguished Faculty Award 2014-2015.
  • Lebanese Ladies Cultural Society, Lifetime Achievement Award, 2012.
  • The "Living Legends" Award by the African Diaspora of Sacred Music and Musicians for her efforts in promoting nationally and internationally two living legends that have preserved cultural awareness of musical exchange, April 2010.
  • "Making a Difference" Director's Award by the Daily Breeze Newspaper for her contirbutions to the arts as a conductor in the South Bay Area, Los Angeles, California, April 2008.
  • Global Peace and Security Certificate Awardee by the U.S. Institute of Peace for her participation in the community college faculty and administrators seminar on "Global Peace and Security in Community Colleges and the Communities They Serve, June 2008.
  • "Excellence in Arts" Award by the City of Torrance Cultural Arts Commission for her cultural events/performances/lectures/choral exhanges and musical contributions to the Torrance community and its surrounding cities, April 2005.