Established in 1987, the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus has performed with the Symphony in everything from Requiems to Reggae. This talented group is the choral component of the Symphony Society, providing added texture and versatility to the Symphony's performance repertoire. The Chorus performs regularly for the Halloween and Holiday Pops Concerts, and joins the Orchestra for major works on the Maestro Series. Recent repertoire includes Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, Requiems by Fauré, Duruflé and Verdi, Holst's The Planets, Orff's Carmina Burana, and Strauss' Die Fledermaus and Bizet's Carmen with the Lyric Opera Center for American Artists. The Chorus occasionally presents its own concerts of Choral Masterworks.
During the regular season, the Chorus boasts over 100 singers drawn from all over the Northwest Indiana and South Chicago area. This fun group is spirited as well as talented, described as a "big family" by many members. Singers 17 years of age and older are eligible to audition in August or January.
Rehearsals are held on Tuesday evenings from 7 p.m. until 10:00 p.m.
Dr. Nancy Menk, Director
Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Professor of Music, Saint Mary's College
Nancy Menk holds the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of the Music Department. She also teaches graduate conducting at the University of Notre Dame. At Saint Mary's College, Dr. Menk conducts the Women's Choir and the Collegiate Choir, teaches conducting, and prepares the Madrigal Singers for the annual Christmas Madrigal Dinners. Under her direction, the Women’s Choir has performed on tour throughout the United States and it regularly commissions, performs, and records new works for women's voices for their series on the ProOrgano label. In February 2005 they performed for the ACDA National Convention in Los Angeles, CA, and in June 2012 they performed for the ACDA National Symposium on American Choral Music in Washington, DC. They made their first international tour visiting China in March 2011, and were named second place winners of The American Prize in Choral Performance for 2012.
She is founder and conductor of the South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble of 32 select singers from the Michiana area. In 2000, the Singers were one of five finalists for the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, given annually by Chorus America, and in 2004 they won the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. They were invited to perform for the American Choral Directors Association Central Division Conference in Fort Wayne, Indiana in March 2012. The Chamber Singers were finalists for The American Prize in 2012 and 2013. Both the Saint Mary’s Women’s Choir and the South Bend Chamber Singers regularly commission, perform, and record new works.
Dr. Menk has been a conducting participant in the National Conductor's Symposium with the Vancouver Chamber Choir and the Oregon Bach Festival. She is Editor of the Saint Mary's College Choral Series, a distinctive series of select music for women's voices published by earthsongs of Corvallis, Oregon. Along with Dr. James Laster of Shenandoah Conservatory, she has prepared an annotated bibliography of women's choir resources, which has been published by the American Choral Foundation. Dr. Menk serves regularly as a guest conductor and choral adjudicator throughout the United States. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. In August 2011, she served as guest conductor for the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp Chorus. She has conducted 6 Carnegie Hall concerts, including the Carnegie Hall premiere of American composer Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass. She returned to NYC in November 2014 to conduct a concert of music by American composer Gwyneth Walker at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall.
She holds the B.S. and the M.A. degrees in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the M.M. and the D.M.A. degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.