English Masters: Britten & Howells
Michael Davis, Guest Conductor
Alan L. Alder, Guest Conductor
Britten: Festival Te Deum
Conducted by Michael Davis and Alan Alder and presented in collaboration with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Ball State University.
Thomas Oberle, Director
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Participating Group Directors
Michael Davis, conductor, has served as Assistant Artistic Director for the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir since 2002. He has supported choral preparation for conductors including Eric Stark, Nicolas McGegan, Mario Venzago, Erich Kunzel, Jack Everly, Patrick Quigley, Michael Christie, and Krzysztof Urbański. He was Chorusmaster for the Symphonic Choir’s world premiere of Mohammed Fairouz’s commissioned oratorio Zabur (released by Naxos Records 2016) and subsequent Carnegie Hall premiere. His work conducting the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra was included on Festival of Carols (Naxos 2019) featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Sylvia McNair. Davis’s introduction to Carnegie Hall was in 1997 as a tenor for Robert Shaw’s Festival Chorus, with his conducting debut following in 2001. Through Carnegie Hall’s Professional Choral Workshops, Davis also sang for James Conlon, Sir Neville Marriner, Andre Previn, Peter Schreier, Charles Dutoit, Robert Spano and Chorusmasters Ann Howard Jones, Vance George, John Oliver, and Norman Mackenzie. Davis has managed and/or performed in concert tours nationally (44 states) and internationally (Europe, Asia, Canada). He is Director of Music at First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville, Indiana and holds degrees in vocal performance and the Doctor of Arts degree in Choral Conducting and Higher Education Administration from Ball State University.
The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir is proud to be one of the nation’s most established and dynamic musical institutions. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Eric Stark, the Choir is among the most active symphonic choruses in the United States reaching over 20,000 persons each season through performances, education, and community engagement programs. The 160+ volunteer singers demonstrate the Choir’s commitment to musical excellence through their talent and dedication during each 10-month season. The Symphonic Choir is led by a professional staff and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. Founded in 1937 at the Orchestra’s request to perform the great choral-orchestral repertoire, the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir continues to be the primary choral partner of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra (ISO). In 2018, the Choir joined the ISO at the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.) for SHIFT: A Festival of American Orchestras. In 2015, the Symphonic Choir commissioned and premiered Mohammed Fairouz’s oratorio Zabur, which was released internationally by Naxos Records (2016) and also featured the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Children’s Choir. In 2019, Naxos records released Festival of Carols, featuring the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, and Grammy award-winning soprano Sylvia McNair.
Alan Alder is an assistant professor of teaching in the School of Music at Ball State University, where he servers as Producer/Director of the world-renowned Ball State University Singers, Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors, and teaches Music History. Under Dr. Alder’s direction, the University Singers won the gold medal at the 2012 World Choir Games, making them the World’s Number One Collegiate Entertainment Organization. The group also won the top prize at the Xinghai International Choral Championships in Guangzhou China, making them the most awarded collegiate entertainment group in competition history. In 2018, the University Singers toured England and performed a concert with The Funky Voices, one of the world’s premiere pop music choirs.
Alder is a sought-after adjudicator, clinician, guest conductor, and has conducted and performed with artists such as Grammy Award winner Sandi Patty, Broadway’s Eden Espinosa, Doc Severinsen, and jazz legends J.J. Johnson and Jiggs Whigham. Alder published The Show Choir Handbook in 2016, and Essentials in Music Appreciation in 2017. He is thrilled to be making his Carnegie Hall conducting debut with such an outstanding group!
Nearly sixty years ago, the Indiana General Assembly elevated Ball State Teacher’s College to the status of “University.” In anticipation of the event, a new musical organization under founding director Don Neuen, was created in honor of the University.
The current cast of twenty-four singers, thirteen instrumentalists, five technicians and wardrobe personnel are under the direction of Dr. Alan L. Alder. At home, across the state, and around the world, the group is known as Indiana’s Official Goodwill Ambassadors. They have performed and captivated audiences all over the world, and hold the title of the World’s Number One Collegiate Entertainment Organization.