Encore Vocal Arts is building deep emotional connections to great choral music; uplifting and transforming the human spirit for multiple generations of singers and audiences.
Encore Vocal Arts is an auditioned chamber choir based in Indianapolis. Founded by Elise Marshall in 1972, as the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, Encore Vocal Arts is the longest continuously-performing chamber choir in Indianapolis, with a solid reputation for high-caliber, entertaining performances.
Encore’s core ensemble of 32 — 40 auditioned singers represent some of the finest talent in the state. While some of the members are professional musicians, many are vocational musicians. Singers range in age from just out of college to retirees. Homemakers, realtors, teachers, ministers, executives, doctors–all are represented in our membership, and all are brought together by a love for choral literature and a commitment to its performance and promotion.
Encore ‘s regular season includes five performances a year with a concert subscription series and numerous appearances at other venues around Indianapolis. Encore has performed at the Penrod Arts Fair, Hannah Arts Day, WSYW Classic Fest, Indy Parks Summer Concert Series, Holocaust Remembrance Day and the Artsgarden. Collaborations have included the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, Indianapolis Ballet Theater, Eastern Star Baptist Choir, Jennie DeVoe, Dance Kaleidoscope, the Carmel Symphony Orchestra, Cathy Morris, and local best-selling author Phil Gulley.
Encore Vocal Arts welcomes John Perkins as the choir’s new artistic director. Perkins is the fifth artistic director to lead the organization since Elise Marshall founded it as the Indianapolis Arts Chorale in 1972. John replaces Gregory Ristow, who served as artistic director from 2012 to 2015.
Perkins joins Encore with a shared vision for exploring innovative ways in which choral music can directly impact audience members and singers. In addition to his role at Encore, he is the Associate Director of Choral Activities and an Assistant Professor of Music at Butler University where he conducts the University Choir and the Women’s Chorus, co-teaches Graduate Choral Seminar, and teaches Aural Skills and studio conducting.
Before arriving in Indianapolis last Fall, he taught at the American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates from 2008-2014 and developed the country’s first music program in higher education. He directed the university’s choral program and founded the Nassim Al Saba Choir, the first Arabic, four-part choir in the Gulf region. The ensemble, aimed at building bridges between Arab and non-Arab countries, performed extensively in the UAE and abroad in New York City, Indonesia, and Jordan.
In the spring of 2016, he will launch an international course entitled “Peacebuilding through Choral Music,” which will engage Butler singers, Nassim Al Saba Choir, and São Vicente a Cappella in Brazil via video-conference.
As a guest clinician, Dr. Perkins has given choral and conducting masterclasses in the United Arab Emirates, US, Indonesia, Oman, Lebanon, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. His research and professional contributions include presentations, articles, and arrangements about Arabic choral music, cross-cultural initiatives, music of the Symbolist (Belle Époque) era, and conducting technique. Perkins’s new choral-orchestral arrangement of Lili Boulanger’s Psaume 130, Du fond de l’abîme and Arabic choral arrangements have been internationally premiered.
Originally from Titusville, New Jersey, Perkins holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in choral conducting from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree in choral conducting, from Temple University, and a bachelor’s degree in theory and composition from Westminster Choir College of Rider University. He and his wife, Emily, a doctoral student, have two children, Lili Amna and Noah Ameen.
Tom McTamney joined Encore in January of 2015 as the first executive director in over five years. After a long and varied career in college administration, arts administration, and information technology, Tom retired from corporate life in December of 2014 and is thrilled join Encore as his “retirement” job.
From 1987 to 1994, Tom managed Clowes Memorial Hall of Butler University, and then from 1995 to 1997, Tom managed Dance Kaleidoscope. During this decade, both Clowes Hall and DK saw great improvements in organizational management, fundraising, and ticket sales. Over the next two decades, Tom moved into Information Technology where he worked his way through: main frame programing, systems administration, web development, database administration, project management, people care management, and finally service management. In his last corporate position, Tom was the Americas Service Manager for all client computing for Rolls-Royce Corporation. In this position, Tom was responsible for over 8,000 PCs and Laptops from Montreal to Rio de Janiero and all Rolls-Royce sites in between across the Americas.
With a background in fundraising, arts marketing, and project management, Tom brings strong leadership to help Encore move through its fourth decade.
Assistant Conductor and Accompanist
Paulo Castro is originally from Brazil. Paulo came to the United States in 2009, to pursue his masters of music in Choral Conducting at Butler University, where he studied with Henry Leck and Eric Stark. Paulo holds a bachelor of music degree in piano performance from UNESP – State University of São Paulo, and is an active conductor, singer, accompanist, clinician and soloist, both locally and internationally, having performed in Central and South America, China and the U.S. In addition to his work with Encore, Paulo serves as the Music Director at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, in Indianapolis, as accompanist and assistant director with the Indianapolis Children’s Choir, is an active member of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and is a piano and voice coach.