The Choral Area’s rich and diverse ensembles are supported by Ball State faculty, staff, and graduate assistants.

Faculty and Staff
  • Andrew Crow, director of choral activities
  • Kerry Glann, associate director of choral activities
  • Alan Alder, director of University Singers
  • Valerie Weingart, choral administrative assistant

Valerie Weingart, mezzo-soprano, is a senior vocal performance and creative writing double major from Salem, Ohio. She is also a member of the Ball State Honors College and is the President of Student Honors Council. At Ball State, she has given yearly recitals and appeared in the choruses of La Bohème, Dido and Aeneas, Orfeo ed Euridice, and Die Fledermaus. This spring, she will be performing the role of Cherubino in Ball State Opera Theater’s production of Le Nozze di Figaro. In December 2016, Valerie was one of the winners of the Ball State Undergraduate Concerto Competition. She has also received first place, second place, and honorable mention honors from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) competitions. Valerie has performed opera scenes at summer festivals in Lucca, Italy (Lorenzo Malfatti Accademia Vocale di Lucca), Petoskey, Michigan (Bay View Music Festival), and, most recently, the Yucatan Peninsula (OperaMaya). In addition to singing, Valerie is a writer of both short fiction and creative non-fiction, and she is the Assistant Managing Editor of Ball State’s literary magazine, The Broken Plate. She studied voice with Amanda-Joyce Abbott for six years and is currently a student of Yoko Shimazaki-Kilburn.

Working as the choral administrative assistant, Valerie assists the department by managing the day-to-day operations of the choirs, including the choral library, finances, uniforms, interdepartmental communications, and more.

Trinidad and Tobago tenor Rory Wallace is a currently pursuing a Doctor of Arts in Voice Performance with a concentration in Choral Conducting degree at Ball State University. His opera credits include include Aeneas (Dido and Aeneas), Tamino (The Magic Flute), St. Brioche (The Merry Widow), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), Don Basilio and Don Curzio (Le nozze di Figaro) and Tommy in the world premiere of It Could Be, part of Bowling Green State University’s MicroOpera program. He has also worked with Toledo Opera as a chorus section leader in their most recent production of Faust.

Not a stranger to musical theater, he sang the roles of Mr. Twimble (How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying), The Man (Blues in the Night) and Riff Raff (The Rocky Horror Show). He is equally at home with concert repertoire performing with the New York City Master Chorale and in Vaughn Williams’ Serenade to Music and Handel’s Messiah with the Champlain Valley Voices. He enjoys producing and performing in his own recitals both in the United States and in Trinidad with his most recent performances at The Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington D.C. and in Port of Spain, Trinidad.

He received his bachelor’s degree from The State University of New York at Plattsburgh and master’s degree from Bowling Green State University.

Marcel Mello, baritone, is a first year doctoral student in Music at Ball State University. A recipient of several academic awards and scholarships, Marcel recently featured as the bass soloist in J. S. Bach's cantatas Christ lag in Todesbanden (BWV 4) and Weinen, klagen, sorgen, zagen (BWV 12), and G. Fauré's Requiem. Operatic roles include scenes from Mozart's Le nozze di Figaro (Count Almaviva), Rossini's La Cenerentola (Dandini), Donizetti’s L’elisir d’amore (Belcore), Moore’s The Ballad of Baby Doe (Horace Tabor), and Copland's The Tender Land (Top). He will play the roles of Don Pedro in Ball State University’s upcoming productions of Beatrice et Benedict (H. Berlioz), and Figaro in Le nozze di Figaro (W. A. Mozart).

Stephen Weigel has a Bachelor of Science in Music Media Production at Ball State, and is currently attending Ball State for a Master's in Music Composition. As a graduate assistant, he teaches aural skills, and helps out in the Chamber Choir and Choral Union ensembles. Stephen’s work has been featured at EMM 2016, SCI Nationals 2016, The National Audience Awards 2014, UnTwelve Microtonal Camp 2016, in various online video games, and numerous other BSU concerts. He has worked at CRS, WCRD, for CEI films, IPR’s show The Scene, and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. His instruments of choice are piano, voice, guitar, and saxophone. He has sung in Chamber Choir, Choral Union, Statesmen, and Concert Choir, as well as some barbershop.  

His favorite subjects in music theory are xenharmonics (microtonality), philosophy, and composition, and he is currently the President of the BSU Xenharmonic Music Alliance (XMA). Other enjoyable subjects for him include mathematics, artistic topics, and instrument building. His most notable accomplishment to date has been the addition of important numerical principles to the set-theory canon (all-scalar set theory), of which he has presented at numerous planned professional lectures at BSU, Muncie Kennedy Library, and Michigan.

Sally Geib taught as adjunct faculty for Middle Tennessee State University’s music department for six years where she co-developed a textbook-less curriculum for general education music classes and acted as a liaison to the public schools for the university’s dual enrollment program. She also volunteered as accompanist and assistant director for the Murfreesboro Community Men’s Chorus for five years. While in Tennessee, she was choir director and worship leader at Cloyd’s Cumberland Presbyterian Church. She received her Master of Arts in choral conducting from Middle Tennessee State University and is currently pursuing her Doctor of Arts at Ball State University where she assists the choral department. She is also the Director of Choirs at Hazelwood Christian Church in Muncie, Indiana.

Alan Alder

  • Director of University Singers at Ball Sate University in Muncie, IN

Sharon Bassinger-Lehmen

  • Choral director at Manchester Community Schools in Manchester, IN Artistic director of the Children’s Choir of Huntington County

Mark A. Boyle

  • Director of choral and vocal activities at Seton Hill University in Greensburg, PA

Jill Burleson Burgett

  • Director of choral music education/associate director of choral studies at University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO

Jordan Dollins

  • Choral director at John Glenn High School in Walkerton, Indiana

Chris Ellis

  • Choral conductor at Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary in Ankeny, Iowa

Michael Lister

  • Music department chair and associate professor of choral music at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, NY

Harmony Murphy

  • Director of choral activities at St. Joseph’s College in Rensselaer, IN

Russell Thorngate

  • Director of choral activities at Northland College in Ashland, WI

Renae Timbie

  • Director of music at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Muncie, IN
  • Director of the University Choral Union at Ball State University

Shelbie Wahl Fouts

  • Director of choral activities at Hollins University in Roanoke, VA