Dr. Eric Stark
In a dynamic career that combines performance, scholarship and collaborative leadership, conductor Eric Stark has established himself as a choral-orchestral specialist.
In May 2012, Stark led over 300 musicians in an acclaimed performance of the massive Grande Messe des Morts (Requiem) by Hector Berlioz with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and the Butler University Chorale (“The discipline of the choir’s preparation was evident from the start….the ‘Dies irae’…is one of the most thrilling episodes in the chorus-orchestra literature, and Stark managed it with aplomb.” Indianapolis Star). He made his podium debut as guest conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in a 2008 presentation of Handel’s Messiah(“galvanic performance….the Choir sang excellently throughout.” Nuvo Newsweekly). His December 2007 Washington, DC debut with the Washington Chorus was also met with critical and popular acclaim (“Eric Stark had the chorus singing crisply and brightly….its rich, close harmonies shimmering.” Washington Post).
Stark has led performances of the Berlioz Grande Messe des Morts, Britten's War Requiem and Saint Nicolas, Mendelssohn's Elijah and Die erste Walpurgisnacht, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Bach’s Mass in B minor, the Weihnachts-Oratorium and numerous cantatas, Handel's Messiah and Israel in Egypt, Zipoli’s Te Deum, Beethoven's Mass in C, Mozart's “Coronation” Mass and Requiem, Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem, the Poulenc Gloria, Fauré’s Requiem, and Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. He has prepared choruses for such notable conductors as Nicholas McGegan, Raymond Leppard, Jahja Ling, Jesus Lopez-Cobos, Mario Venzago, Carl St. Clair, Erich Kunzel, Krzysztof Urbanski and Jack Everly. His choruses are heard on multiple compact discs, including Mendelssohn’s Elijah (2011); From East to West (2005) a holiday compilation with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir; The Harmonies of Hoosier History, (2001) featuring works by Indiana composers performed by the Indianapolis Arts Chorale; and A Festival of Carols (1997) with the Muncie, IN Masterworks Chorale.
Stark’s work as artistic collaborator and community leader has been both broad and unique. Under his leadership, his choirs have performed with such groups as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana Repertory Theater, Indianapolis Children’s Choir, American Pianists Association, Jordan College Academy of Dance, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Clowes Memorial Hall, Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) and Butler University.
He has conducted in the Oriental Art Center Concert Hall in Shanghai, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, MD, and the Forbidden City Concert Hall in Beijing. He has made conducting appearances in Greece, Italy, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil and Uruguay, and has led choirs on domestic tours in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa. In 2012, Stark served as chorus master for the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, featuring Madonna, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj and LMFAO. He was honored with a Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis in 2005.
A firm believer in the power of music to connect diverse audiences and enrich lives, Stark has led a revitalized program of innovative educational outreach programs since joining the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir in 2002. In-Choir-ing Minds is an interactive discussion/performance featuring engaging dialog interspersed with live musical examples. Hallelujah—What’s It to Ya?! is a light-hearted musical inspection of the greatest musical work of all time, Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. The in-depth Choral Colloquium focuses on the contextual issues surrounding the great works for chorus and orchestra, and has featured such notable participants as composers Morten Lauridsen and Kyle Gann, scholar/performers Vance George, John Shirley-Quirk, Nick Strimple, Byron Adams and R. Larry Todd, and theologians Richard Hamilton and Frank Burch Brown.
In addition to his duties as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Stark is also Professor of Music, Director of Graduate Studies and Assistant Chair of the School of Music at Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts. There he conducts the Butler Chorale, teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and choral literature, and serves as coordinator of the vocal and choral areas. His former conducting students have received appointments at leading choral positions around the United States, including Stetson University, Princeton University, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Los Angeles Opera, Fort Wayne Children’s Chorus and the University of Wisconsin. In 2003 and 2009 he taught a Butler University honors course he designed, Putting Wings on Dreams—the First 100 Years of Powered Flight, using the dramatic stories of aviation pioneers as case studies in human determination and innovation. He has served on the faculties of Christian Theological Seminary, Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne and Earlham College. He received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from Indiana University, where he was a student of Jan Harrington, Robert Porco and Thomas Dunn. A 1988 graduate of Wabash College, he is also a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight, a non-profit network of pilots providing free air transportation for those with medical needs.
Dr. Michael Davis
Assistant Artistic Director
Michael Davis, Assistant Artistic Director (2002), is originally from northeast Arkansas. His work as a conductor and musician includes an eclectic background of nearly 40 years of professional performing experience in genres from bluegrass, jazz, popular, and western-swing to the standard repertoire of opera, choral, orchestral, and choral-orchestral masterworks. Most recently Davis served as chorus master for Krzysztof Urbanski ‘s staged productions of Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte (2018) and Bizet’s Carmen (2016), Patrick Quigley and Michael Christie’s performance of Handel’s Messiah (2015 and 2017, respectively), and Eric Stark’s world premiere (2015) and Carnegie Hall performance of Mohammed Fairouz’s commissioned oratorio Zabur released by Naxos Records (both 2016). Other current musical endeavors include guitarist/pianist in The Pithy Oddfellows (a jazz quintet focused on the repertoire of the Great American Songbook), dobro/mandolin in The Bluegrass Roundabouts, and Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Noblesville, Indiana.
Davis’s former conducting positions include director/producer of the critically acclaimed Ball State University Singers, “Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors,” as well as founder/conductor of Das Neue Kapellorchester and Cantabile!, artistic director of Westminster Orchestra, associate conductor of the Ball State Chamber Choir, and assistant conductor for Indianapolis Arts Chorale. Davis has held teaching positions at Manchester College and Ball State University. Having first performed at Carnegie Hall with Robert Shaw in the Robert Shaw Festival Singers in 1997, he has regularly performed in the chorus as a part of Carnegie Hall’s ongoing professional training workshops where he has sung with conductors including Charles Dutoit, Neville Marriner, Andre Previn, Robert Spano, Norman Mackenzie, John Rutter, Vance George, Donald Neuen, James Conlon, and Peter Shreier. He made his New York City conducting debut at Carnegie Hall with Manchester College’s A Cappella Choir in 2001.
Accepting the position of General Manager in 2018, Davis brings a lifetime of business and financial services experience to his expanded responsibilities within the organization. In addition to growing up in the family’s 50-year accounting business, he held corporate leadership positions managing people, projects, and lines-of-business for multi-regional financial institutions and community banks for 15 years. A certified DiSC™ Trainer, corporate facilitator, and sales coach, Davis supported the development of executive leaders, managers, and individual producers specializing in customer/employee experience, career pathing, and business strategy. He has served and consulted leaders from large global corporations, small businesses, non-profit boards, and churches. In addition to degrees in conducting and vocal performance, Davis holds the Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Higher Education Administration and Leadership from Ball State University. He is currently pursuing the Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University (anticipated completion 2021).
Liam Bonner joined the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir as Executive Director in January of 2019, and draws on three years of fundraising experience with a major US symphony and a successful ten-year career in performance, having earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Vocal Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and his Master of Music in Voice from the Manhattan School of Music. Highlights of his performing career include his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2010, and the creation of the role of Lieutenant Audebert in the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera, Silent Night. Liam's established level of artistic excellence as a solo artist, deep network of colleagues in the symphonic and vocal music space, and his unique perspective on the industry's landscape will support the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir's vision to expand the impact of its tradition of excellence.
Kellie Kierce joined the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir as Development Director in August 2019. She brings over seven years of nonprofit fundraising experience. Most recently, Kellie was the Donor Engagement Officer for Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky. In her tenure there, she built and maintained a donor base from across the state during some of the organization’s most successful years of fundraising. Prior to that, she held development positions at the United Way and the YMCA. Kellie earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nonprofit Management from Indiana University. She is currently working on obtaining her CFRE Certification.
As a native Hoosier, Kellie recognizes the vital role music plays in our community. She finds the joy in philanthropy and wants to help guide people in finding their unique path in making a difference in something they care deeply about. She is looking forward to cultivating the space for opportunities for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir to share their voice.
Production & Communications Manager
Matthew Creek joined the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir team in June of 2019 as the Production Specialist. He received his B.S. in Arts Management from Indiana University’s O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs in May of 2019. A native of Indianapolis, Matthew began pursuing his artistic passions as a euphonium player before becoming a vocalist and dancer. While at Indiana University, he traveled across the U.S. as a 4-year member of the Grammy-nominated Singing Hoosiers at the IU Jacobs School of Music. Under the direction of Ly Wilder, Duane Davis, and Dr. Chris Albanese, he was a Varsity Dancer, vocal jazz singer, and choreographer in addition to managing the 85 member ensemble for two years. Highlights of his performance career include a performance with the Chicago Children’s Choir, a Florida tour, and performing at the Musical Arts Center on Indiana University’s campus.
Matthew’s arts administration experience was cultivated by previously working as the Administrative Assistant for Bloomington Expressive Arts Training (BEAT), Marketing Intern and House Manager at The Buskirk-Chumley Theater, Audience Services Associate and Marketing Assistant at Cardinal Stage Company, and Production Assistant at the IU Center for Rural Engagement.
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir announces Alejandro Reyna as its newest conducting fellow for the 2020-2022 academic years. Reyna, a Houston native, is a 2017 graduate of Wabash College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in music at Butler University with a dual focus on choral conducting and voice performance.
After graduating from Wabash College, Reyna returned to his alma mater as Fellow for the Center for Innovation, Business & Entrepreneurship where he guided students through creating, managing, and completing consulting projects for local non-profits. Prior to beginning his graduate studies, Reyna served as the Associate Choir Director at First Christian Church in Crawfordsville, Ind., and as an intern for the Wabash College Glee Club. When not in a classroom or a rehearsal room, he is watching a film, reading, or composing music for a poem.
David Duncan began playing the piano at the age of six years old. These early beginnings prepared him for the diverse and busy musical life that he enjoys today as pianist, organist, conductor and choral arranger. His experience and extensive musical background has made him one of the most sought after musicians in the Indianapolis area.
He received both his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees in Piano Performance from the Indiana University School of Music. He was fortunate to study under gifted teachers who nurtured and supported his love and interest in a wide range of musical styles and genres. He has served on the faculties of both Taylor University and Anderson University, where he conducted and arranged for both men’s and women’s choral ensembles and taught classes in classical and jazz piano, improvisation and choral arranging.
As a pianist, David has worked with many of the finest musical organizations in the area including The Great American Songbook High School Vocal Competition with Michael Feinstein and Encore Vocal Arts Ensemble. He has also done extensive work as a pianist/conductor for many local theatre companies including the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Indiana, Civic Theatre, Beef and Boards Dinner Theatre and the Bose Lyric Theatre at Anderson University where he was Music Director/Conductor for twelve productions, including Into the Woods, Music Man, Children of Eden, and Seussical. He continues to work regularly with The Indianapolis Symphony and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir.
David is passionate about working with high school students to further their love and appreciation of music and the arts. He is staff accompanist/choral arranger at Franklin Central High School, a program that has consistently been the first place winners of the Indiana State School Music Association competitions both in Concert Choir and Show Choir categories. He is also the Organist and Assistant Choir Director at Zionsville United Methodist Church.