Michael Bennett - Artistic Director
Michael Bennett is a music educator, choral director, and keyboard artist. He is the Music & Dance Department Chairman at Lafayette Jefferson High School where he directs several choirs, including the award-winning Varsity Singers,who were state champions at the 2018 Indiana State School Music Association concert finals. In addition, he teaches courses in class piano. 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.
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.
A native of Roanoke, Va., Bennett 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. Michael is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association and the National Association for Music Education and serves on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Music Education Association.
As a concert organist, 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 10 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 2004-09, Bennett was the Assistant Conductor and Youth Chorus Director for the Bach Chorale Singers. As the chorale's primary conductor for the 2006-07 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. Her primary passion is enriching the lives of children through choral music. She is a conductor for both the Indianapolis Children's Choir and the Lafayette 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. She earned a Masters of Music in Choral Conducting in 2012 from Butler University, where she studied with Henry Leck and Dr. Eric Stark. During her years of classroom teaching, she taught preschool through 8th grade general music and choir in the Tippecanoe School Corporation, Archdiocese of Indianapolis, and various other school settings throughout the Indianapolis area.
Leeann's choral compositions are published through Colla Voce Music and have been featured in festivals and honors choirs throughout the United States. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, Indiana Choral Directors Association, and the Organization of American Kodály Educators. She is certified in Orff Schulwerk, Kodály (Levels 1 & 2), 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!