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, Music Director, holds the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she is Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities. 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. Her teachers have included Earl Rivers, Elmer Thomas, Helmuth Rilling, and Teri Murai.
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 at the American Choral Directors Association national convention in Los Angeles in February 2005, and has recorded four critically acclaimed compact discs of music for women’s voices on the ProOrgano label. Dr. Menk also teaches graduate conducting at the University of Notre Dame.
She is founder and conductor of the South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble of 30 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. 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, and has spent two summers teaching and conducting in Hong Kong. She has conducted All-State Choirs in Delaware, Indiana, Kentucky, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. In February 2010 she will make her fifth appearance at Carnegie Hall, conducting Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna in a performance featuring members of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus and the South Bend Chamber Singers.