Michael Bennett - Artistic Director
Michael Bennett is the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette, where he serves as organist for all services, oversees the parish’s musical offerings, directs the choir program, and administers the concert series.
Mr. Bennett is also choral director at Lafayette Jefferson High School where he directs several choirs, including the award winning Varsity Singers, who were state runners-up at the 2016 Indiana State School Music Association concert finals. In 2014 he was recognized for his excellent teaching by the Greater Lafayette Commerce as a Golden Apple Teacher, one of the newest teachers to the profession to have received the award.
Michael, a native of Roanoke, VA is a graduate of the Indiana University School of Music where he received his Bachelor's degree in Organ Performance and the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting. His primary instructors there were William Jon Gray, Marilyn Keiser, and Larry Smith.
As a concert organist, Mr. Bennett has performed extensively across the Midwest and East Coast, playing in cathedrals and for chapters of the American Guild of Organists in more than ten states. He also can be heard in recording with the choirs of Vassar College, where he made his discography debut in a live performance of Mozart's Requiem with solo organ accompaniment.
From 2004-2009 Michael was the Assistant Conductor and Youth Chorus Director for the Bach Chorale Singers. As the chorale's primary conductor for the 2006-2007 season, he was privileged to direct both choruses while on tour in Washington, D.C., at the Washington National Cathedral and the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Leeann Starkey - Lafayette Children's Choir Youth Chorus and Concert Choir Director
Leeann Starkey is a music educator, conductor, and composer. In addition to her current position as the preschool through eighth grade music teacher at St. Malachy Parish School in Brownsburg, Indiana, Leeann conducts the Concert Choir and Youth Chorus of the Lafayette Children's Choir. Additionally, she serves as the Preparatory Program Coordinator for the Indianapolis Children's Choir, where she also directs the Hendricks County Preparatory Choir and the Hendricks County Children's Choir.
In 2008, Leeann graduated summa cum laude and as Presser Scholar from Taylor University, with a Bachelor of Music in Music Education. Following graduation, she taught K-5 general music and choir for the Tippecanoe School Corporation. Leeann earned a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting in 2012 from Butler University, where she studied with Henry Leck and Dr. Eric Stark.
Leeann's choral compositions are published through Colla Voce Music and have been featured in festivals and honors choirs throughout the United States. Leeann is a member of the American Choral Directors Association and Indiana Choral Directors Association. She is certified in Orff Schulwerk, Kodály (Level 1), Conversational Solfege, and First Steps in Music (Feierabend). Leeann and her husband, Derek, live In Plainfield, Indiana.
Colleen Green - Lafayette Children's Choir Concert Choir and Prelude Choir Director
Colleen Green teaches choir and general music at Wea Ridge Middle School in Lafayette, Indiana. Before moving to Lafayette in March, Colleen lived in Bloomington and attended Indiana University where she received degrees in vocal performance and music education. Colleen was the music teacher at Poston Road and Paragon Elementary Schools in Martinsville from 2009 until 2016. During her time in Bloomington, Colleen also worked with the Indiana University Children’s Choir as both the administrative assistant and then the director of the Descant Choir. Colleen is a member of the National Association for Music Education.
Colleen has also worked extensively as a singer, performing with groups such as Cardinal Stage Company in Bloomington, the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel, CA, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the Lafayette Bach Chorale.
This is Colleen’s first season with the Lafayette Children’s Choir and she is thrilled to be joining Leeann and the rest of the team. She is looking forward to a wonderful year of music making!