Dr. Eric Stark
In a dynamic career that combines performance, scholarship and collaborative leadership, conductor Eric Stark shares his love of music-making with musicians and audiences in Indiana, the United States, and beyond. Believing strongly in music’s power to bring people together, Stark has led collaborations with such partners as the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, American Pianists Association, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Dance Kaleidoscope, Indiana Repertory Theater, Butler University, Indianapolis Children’s Choir , Jordan College Academy of Dance, Newfields, Clowes Memorial Hall, the Chinese University of Hong Kong Chorus, and Orquesta Sinfonica Juvenil de Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia). In 2012, Stark served as chorus master for the National Football League’s Super Bowl XLVI halftime show, featuring Madonna, Cee Lo Green, Nicki Minaj and LMFAO.
Stark’s work as artistic collaborator and community leader has been both broad and unique. In 2014 he received the State of Indiana’s highest honor—Sagamore of the Wabash. His musical leadership continues to receive international recognition as well, including acclaimed performances at Carnegie Hall, the Hong Kong Cultural Center Concert Hall, Shanghai’s Oriental Art Center Concert Hall, Beijing’s Forbidden City Concert Hall, the Hong Kong City Center Concert Hall, São Paulo’s Teatro Municipal, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and Strathmore Hall in Bethesda, MD. Named a Fulbright Scholar in 2020, Stark accepted invitations to conduct and teach at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul and the Pontifical Catholic University in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and served as guest conductor of the acclaimed Coral Paulistano in São Paulo. He has also made conducting and masterclass appearances in Greece, Italy, Argentina, Japan and Uruguay, and has led choirs on domestic tours in New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans, Orlando and Tampa.
His choruses are heard on multiple compact discs, including A Festival of Carols with Sylvia McNair (Naxos 2019), Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur (Naxos 2016), Mendelssohn’s Elijah (2011); From East to West (2005), The Harmonies of Hoosier History, (2001) with the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, and A Festival of Carols (1997) with the Muncie, IN Masterworks Chorale.
In addition to his duties as Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Stark is also Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Butler University's Jordan College of Fine Arts. There he conducts the Butler Chorale and Chamber Singers and teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting and choral literature. His former conducting students have received appointments at leading choral positions around the United States, including Purdue University, Stetson University, Princeton University, San Francisco Girls Chorus, Los Angeles Opera, Fort Wayne Children’s Chorus and the University of Wisconsin. He has also served on the faculties of Christian Theological Seminary, Indiana-Purdue at Fort Wayne and Earlham College. A graduate of Wabash College, he holds a doctorate in choral conducting from Indiana University. Stark 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
Dr. Michael Davis, Assistant Artistic Director, began serving the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir in 2002 and has held multiple roles during his tenure. He brings over 20 years of experience performing, preparing, and conducting choral masterworks and has worked with conductors including Robert Shaw, Neville Marriner, Peter Schreier, Raymond Leppard, Charles Dutoit, Vance George, Margaret Hillis, Don Neuen, Nicolas McGegan, Mario Venzago, Erich Kunzel, Jack Everly, Patrick Quigley, Michael Christie, and Krzysztof Urbański. He served as chorus master for the Symphonic Choir’s world premiere (2015) and Carnegie Hall performance of Mohammed Fairouz’s commissioned oratorio Zabur, released by Naxos Records (both 2016). His work conducting the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra was included on Festival of Carols (Naxos 2019) featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Sylvia McNair.
Davis has directed, managed, and performed concert tours nationally (44 states) and internationally (Europe, Asia, Canada). He possesses a uniquely eclectic background in professional performance spanning nearly 40 years in genres including bluegrass, jazz, western-swing, and country music on instruments including piano, guitar, dobro, mandolin, and fiddle. He is currently Minister of Music at First Presbyterian Church in Noblesville, Indiana and is a past director/producer of the critically acclaimed Ball State University Singers, “Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors.”
In addition to his musical endeavors, Davis has held corporate leadership positions managing people, projects, and teams for multi-regional financial institutions and community banks for 15 years and has served and advised leaders from large corporations, small businesses, non-profit organizations, and churches. Also active within the community, he is a past board chair and artistic advisor for Matthew’s Voices—a choir engaging with people living on the streets of Indianapolis through the restorative power of singing.
Davis holds degrees in conducting and vocal performance, and 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. He has held teaching positions at Manchester University and Ball State
Kiki Porter is an incoming masters student in choral conducting at Butler University and a conducting fellow with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir. She is in her fourth year at Oberlin Conservatory and will be graduating in June with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance. She was introduced to musicianship early in life as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, where she sang in more than 250 performances in 16 different operas over seven years. She continued to develop her singing through All-State & All-Eastern choirs and summers at Interlochen Arts Camp, where she eventually became a counselor. She made her college opera debut as Peaseblossom in Oberlin Opera Theater’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Kiki sang in the Oberlin College Choir, the Chamber Singers Ensemble, and the Seraphic Fire’s Choral Institute.
Kiki is Choir Director at Oberlin’s First United Methodist Church. She also conducted spiritual and classical pieces with Oberlin College Choir and Chamber Singers and served as assistant director in Oberlin Opera Theater's production of Handel’s Acis and Galatea. During the COVID-19 lockdowns, she virtually conducted and assembled a rendition of Brandon Ulrich’s “A Heaven Full of Stars” with Dr. Gregory Ristow.
Kiki looks forward to learning from Dr. Eric Stark and receiving the honor of working with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir!
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.
Kara M. Stolle
Kara M. Stolle joins the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir as Production Specialist with a wealth of experience on stage as a musician and in management roles behind the scenes. She received her Bachelor’s degree in music performance from Butler University and her Master’s degree from the Indiana University School of Music in Bloomington, IN.
Kara is Principal Bassoonist of the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra and has been a member of the orchestra since 2001. Her performance of Villa-Lobos' Ciranda das Sete Notas for bassoon and string orchestra with the ICO was praised by the Indianapolis Star having “exhibited delightful virtuosity, her command of her role — its tenderness and breadth of expression — seemed superior to the dance-inspired material, which was deployed playfully…in a well knit performance.” Kara is an veteran chamber and studio musician in the Indianapolis region and has performed with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Symphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Opera, Indianapolis Ballet, for touring production shows, and many community orchestras including Richmond, Lafayette, Anderson, Muncie Symphony Orchestras. Kara is a member of the electric rock band Rock E Bassoon, which provides unique and creative performances for local venues and charities.
Kara began her music management career as an orchestra personnel manager with the Lafayette Symphony. Additionally, in her work as a music contractor and office manager with Wood & Rodin, Inc., she worked with and established client relationships with some of the most prestigious publishing and production companies including the Hal Leonard Corp., Lorenz Corp., Alfred Publishing, FJH Music Co., Feld Entertainment, Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Touring LLC., AWR Music, Plank Road Publishing, and Beckenhorst Press. As a result of her many years working in local recording studios in this capacity, she was appointed as a Production Manager with Aire Born Recording Studios and worked directly with the Lorenz Corporation, managing recording demo production. She has assisted in hiring and managing ensembles in many of Indiana’s premier venues, including the Murat Theatre/Old National Centre, Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Clowes Memorial Hall, the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, and with local arts organizations and churches including the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Opera, Second Presbyterian Church and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.
Assistant Professor of Music at DePauw University since 2002, Kara's responsibilities include teaching applied bassoon and reed-making, and coaching chamber music. She has also been an adjunct professor at the University of Indianapolis, Anderson University, Purdue University, Wabash College, and Butler University. In addition to her educational activities within the arts community, Kara mentors high school students within her role as college planner and music specialist with Class 101 Carmel, IN.
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.