Dr. Mark Doerries

Artistic Director, Notre Dame Children's Choir & Sacred Music Academy
Acting Director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame
Head of the Graduate Choral Conducting Program


Doerries Resize Blue 2

Dr. Mark Doerries is the Acting Director of Sacred Music at Notre Dame, Head of the Graduate Conducting Studio, and an Associate Professor in the Practice of Conducting for Sacred Music at Notre Dame. Doerries serves as the Artistic Director of the Notre Dame Children's Choir, Children’s Organ Training Program, and the Sacred Music Academy, the community engagement arm of Sacred Music at Notre Dame.

Doerries’ recent conducting engagements include appearances with the Girls’ Choir Festival of the Diocese of Leeds, UK, the diocese of Cleveland Children’s Choir Festival, and performances with the Jessica Lang Dance Company, jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval, the Hymn Society of the United States and Canada, the Organ Historical Society, Indiana Music Educators’ Association annual conference, National Pastoral Musicians’ Association Conference, Circle the State with Song, the College of New Jersey Chamber Singers, and Ampleforth College Choir, and at venues including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas, TX. Doerries has led students and ensembles on tours through major cathedrals in the United States as well as in Leeds, Liverpool, London, and York, UK. 

With the Notre Dame Children's Choir Doerries recorded four albums: O Emmanuel, released in the fall of 2016, debuted at #1 on Billboard's Chart of Traditional Classical Music; O Day of Peace, released in the spring of 2017, a collection of hymn arrangements; Arturo Sandoval’s Christmas at Notre Dame (conductor and producer) is a collaboration with 10-time GRAMMY winner and jazz trumpeter Arturo Sandoval; and Magnificat: Evening Prayer with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, a collection of commissioned Vespers and Evensong liturgies. 

Doerries has commissioned and premiered over 30 works by composers such as Caroline Shaw, Phillip Moore, Mark Miller, J.J. Wright, Stephen Mager, John Duggan, Ruth Boshkoff, Eveylne Currenton-Simpson, and Daniel Justin. He is the founding editor of the Notre Dame Children's Choir Choral Series, published by MorningStar Music Publishers/ ECS Publishing Group, and appears on the Universal Music Group, Arsis Records, and Dynamic Catholic recording labels. 

Doerries is the co-recipient of a $1.6 million Lilly Endowment Grant for sacred music that supports the Sacred Music Academy, Notre Dame Children’s Choir, children’s Organ Training Program, and graduate studies in Sacred Music at Notre Dame. He was recognized by the Chamber of Commerce of the City of South Bend for his work at the University and in the community with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir and inducted into the 2019 class of 40 Under 40 leaders in the region. 
Past presentations include engagements with the American Choral Directors Association National Conference in Dallas, the Modern Language Association, Festival 500 Choral Symposium, and a TEDx Talk in 2015 titled, What If Children Were More Than Cute? Doerries’ research on chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems is published in the journals Deep-Sea Research and Marine Ecology.

Doerries founded the Luminescence Project in 2004 for the composition and performance of multi-sensory music. The Luminescence Project has performed in the Philadelphia Live Arts and Fringe Festival and the Bloomington Arts Festival with additional installations mounted in New York City, Vancouver, Kansas City, and Los Angeles. Original productions include staged performances of PASSIONATE CONVICTIONS, an electrified rock oratorio based on JS Bach's St. John Passion, and Dreaming in Darkness, a vocal music and light-art production.

Doerries previously served as the Director of Choral and Vocal Music at Olney Central College and as Music Director of All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Indianapolis before his appointment to the University of Notre Dame.

For additional information, visit: Sacred Music at Notre Dame.

Susanna Kim Villano

Administrative Director of the Sacred Music Academy
Director of the Lyric Choir & Cantabile Choir

Mrs. Villano proudly serves the Sacred Music Academy as an administrator and director to promote the program's mission of empowering young people to lead the revitalization of choral sacred music. She believes in the extraordinary power of young voices to impact the world and build a community of hope, joy, peace and understanding.  Through her years as school teacher in both public and private settings, Mrs. Villano has shared her love of music and singing with thousands of children across the country.  She earned a MA in Elementary Education from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a certificate for instruction of mild to moderate disabilities through the Alliance for Catholic Education at the University of Notre Dame.

As a vocalist, she has sung in numerous choirs across the country and for many years performed, toured, and recorded with Ars Nova Singers in Boulder, Colorado. She began her studies in voice while earning a degree in Political Science at Columbia University in the City of New York. She regularly performs in the area with Collegium Musicum, Concordia in the Sacred Music Program at Notre Dame, Basilica Schola, and has sung with the Ancilla Community Choir, the Basilica Community Choir, and the South Bend Chamber Singers. Mrs. Villano also serves as a Cantor at her church in Granger. 

Mrs. Villano's most favorite sound is hearing children sing! She is proud of her four very musical children and is married to Dr. Michael Villano, research professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame.

Cindy Berryman

Early Childhood Music Specialist and Director of the Prelude Class

Cynthia Berryman has been teaching vocal and instrumental music from preschool through university for nearly three decades. She is certified in Orff-Schulwerk music and has additional training in Kodaly and Dalcroze techniques. She is currently teaching an Orff-Schulwerk curriculum at Nuner Primary Center in addition to teaching classes at The Music Village in downtown South Bend. Her previous teaching includes high school choir, swing choir, and band; K-8 Orff-Schulwerk music and band at St. Joseph Grade School, South Bend; and music education adjunct teaching at St. Mary's College, Notre Dame. She has a B.S. in All Area Music Education from Ball State University; additional training from VanderCook College of Music, Chicago, and Westminster College, Oxford. Berryman recently completed a masters' degree in Music Education, with an emphasis on fine arts integration and literacy, through Anderson University.

Trevis Young

Organist, Accompanist

Trevis Young is the Campus Minister for Liturgy and Music at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, IN, he previously served as the Director of Music at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, La Porte, IN. Prior to moving to South Bend, Trevis lived in Clemson, SC where he served as Director of Music for Clemson United Methodist Church, and was the principal accompanist for the Department of Performing Arts at Clemson University. Trevis studied organ performance at Wartburg College in Waverly, IA where he earned a B.A. in music. After considering a career in organ building, Trevis decided to continue his education and earned a Master of Church Music degree from Erskine Seminary in Due West, SC. Trevis has been actively serving as a church musician for over 11 years. He enjoys collecting watches and fountain pens, and spending time with his wife and two young boys exploring the Michiana area.

Emorja Roberson

African American Music Specialist

Emorja is a pianist, conductor, composer, arranger and vocalist in the world of classical and gospel. He recently debuted “Let’s Just Praise the Lord” with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, from his live recording Rejuvenate Me with Rejuvenation Gospel Choir January 2017. Roberson graduated from the University of North Florida with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance, where he studied with Krzysztof Biernacki. As a young artist, he held lead roles in Die Zauberflöte, The Consul, The Mikado and La Bohème with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra and performed as a soloist in Handel’s Messiah

In October 2016 Robert Kry’s The Dante Project and Mass for the Oppressed by Emerson Eads. He has premiered Evelyn Simpson Curenton’s “Sweet Lil Jesus” and was featured as the soloist for J.J. Wright’s O Emmanuel with the Notre Dame Children’s Choir. In March 2016, Roberson was casted as Duke Frederick in Roger Steptoe’s world-premiere opera of the Shakespeare’s play, As You Like It, under the direction of John Apeitos. Throughout his experience in the MSM program, Roberson has worked with world-renowned soprano, Deborah Voight, Carla Rae Cook, and vocal coach and pianist, J.J. Penna. Just recently, Roberson recorded with Grammy Award Winner, Arturo Sandoval, for the NDCC’s Christmas CD, which is to be released December 2018. In May 2017, Roberson became the first African-American to graduate with a Master of Sacred Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Notre Dame under the direction of Stephen Lancaster. 

Juan Carlos Alarcon

Cherub Choir Co-Director


Dallin Baldwin 

Liturgical Choir Co-Director


Christina Beasley

Chamber Choir Co-Director

Christina is a first year graduate student at the University of Notre Dame studying choral conducting. Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, she is a proud graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she received a Bachelors of Music in Vocal Performance with education licensure, as well as a minor in Christianity and Culture. While at UNC-Chapel Hill, she won Best Musical Direction for two years in a row with her work in various musicals, played the piano for many orchestra pits, served as Vice President of the Carolina Choir and was the assistant musical director for UNC’s Alcina. She also served as a choral scholar at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church where she accompanied and conducted the choir, helped lead children’s choir rehearsals, played the organ, and performed many sacred pieces for the congregation. Upon graduation, she worked as a teacher at the Academy at Lincoln, a performing arts school, where she taught piano and choir to fourth through eighth graders. Christina is excited to continue her education by pursuing her passions of music, liturgy, and theology.

Mary Katherine Bucko

Cherub Choir Co-Director

Mary Katherine is a soprano and a lover and performer of sacred early music. Hailing from Philadelphia, she graduated from Eastern University with a Bachelors in Music with a concentration in voice. She worked as a cantor and staff singer at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Philadelphia for four years, and participated musically in the liturgical life of several other Philadelphia-area churches during her undergraduate studies. In 2015, Mary Katherine sang in the Papal Choir for the World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia. She also was a member of multiple choirs at Eastern University in addition to her solo vocal studies and performances. After completing the Master of Sacred Music, Mary Katherine looks forward to continuing her career as a solo vocalist and teacher to preserve and restore beauty in Catholic churches through sacred music. 

Jeron Burney

Seraphim Choir Co-Director

Jeron is a countertenor/sopranist from Chattanooga, TN. He received his BM in Vocal Music Education at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. As a first-generation student he has proven to be a walking success story; achieving his dreams even as life has thrown many curveballs. Although Jeron is a classically trained vocalist and pianist, he also enjoys performing in other genres such as jazz, pop and R&B. He has had the opportunity to work with acclaimed faculty artists at the Si parla, Si canta! summer opera program, where he also studied the Italian language in Italy. Jeron is a brother of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America and has been active in numerous local choral groups. He hopes to continue his academic studies to earn a doctorate in choral conducting, and aspires to travel the world as an opera performer. 

Sounak Das 

Cherub Choir Co-Director


Emmanuel “Eman” P. De Leon Jr. 

Descant Choir Co-Director

Emmanuel is a second-year DMA Conducting student in Sacred Music at Notre Dame.  Eman obtained his Master’s Degree in Music (Major in Choral Conducting), Bachelor of Music, and Diploma in Creative and Performing Musical Arts (Major in Music Education) from the University of the Philippines Diliman College of Music, where he also formerly taught as lecturer in the Conducting Department and Extension Program.  He served as Assistant Conductor of the University of the Philippines Concert Chorus (UPCC) and joined several international concert tours with the group from 2002-2012. In 2012, he conducted UPCC in winning several international recognitions in various competitions in Europe. Eman conducted the commissioned work for the 40th Aberdeen International Youth Festival in Aberdeen, Scotland during its inaugural concert in July 2012.  He is an alumnus of the Philippine Madrigal Singers, and won the grand prize in Arezzo, Italy in 2016 with the group.  He is the former Music Director of the University of the Philippines Manila Chorale and led the group in concerts and competitions in Manila, Japan, Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and Switzerland. In July 2019, the group participated in the 2nd Tokyo International Choir Competition and competed with 52 choirs coming from different countries. They bagged 1st place in the Sacred Category, 2nd place in the Mixed Choir Category, and declared as the Best Interpretation of the Japanese obligatory work. On top of the awards received, Eman was awarded as the Outstanding Conductor of the Tokyo International Choir Competition.  Eman traveled all over the Philippines to adjudicate in national choral competitions and to teach and give workshops to choirs and conductors. Internationally, he has conducted workshops and served as jury in competitions in Indonesia, Germany, and Poland. 

Margaret Foster  

Seraphim Choir Co-Director


Preston Harrell 

Cantabile Choir Co-Director


Christina Hera 

Cantabile Choir Co-Director


Lauren Lundy 

Descant Choir Co-Director

Lauren is an acclaimed Mezzo-Soprano who has performed across the United States and abroad in Italy. She is a current graduate student receiving a Master’s of Sacred Music in Vocal Performance under the tutelage of Kiera Duffy. She recently completed a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from Drake University where she was graduated with honors. She is a proud alumnus of the Artist-in-Training Program at Opera Theater of Saint Louis, and was bestowed the William E. Maritz 1st Prize Award at the completion of her senior adjudication process. She has recently performed the roles of Dorabella in Cosí fan Tutte with Drake Opera Theater, and Prince Charmant in Cendrillon at Northwestern University’s Summer Vocal Performance Institute.

David Marshall

Seraphim Choir Co-Director

David harmonizes his diverse interests to create music for the greater glory of God. His undergraduate coursework in audio engineering, musicology, and choral performance at the University of Rochester, in addition to his experiences singing with  the Eastman School of Music Schola Cantorum and the Schola Cantorum of the Pacific®️ in Los Angeles, regularly synthesize as he interprets, researches, and performs music. During his first year at Notre Dame, David directed Sunnyside Presbyterian’s bell choir as well as the Notre Dame Children’s Choir high school division. Especially amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, David is interested in exploring how technology can help innovate new mediums of choral performance including virtual choirs, sound sculpture, and immersive experiences. David is in the process of discerning religious life and enjoys building community, caring for plants, and participating in Liturgy.

Lorraine Mihaliak 

Chamber Choir Co-Director

Lorraine is a first-year choral conductor and organist. Originally from Connecticut, she recently graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA as the Organ Scholar. Her skill as an organist has led her on two international tours of organs and has seen her participate in numerous summer programs at conservatories throughout the United States. Her experience working with choirs has given birth to a fascination with the human voice and a love for the community that is fostered through joint music-making. 

Tucker Moore 

Descant Choir Co-Director


Jude Nwankwo

Chamber Choir Co-Director

Jude is a second-year choral conductor. Originally from Umunoha in Imo State, Nigeria, he has worked as diocesan choir coordinator for the Music Commission of the Catholic diocese of Nsukka, Nigeria and also as lecturer in the Department of Music, University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is a composer whose compositions are very popular with choirs in Nigeria; the inaugural recipient of the Sub-Saharan Africa Commissioning Project of the Morehouse College Department of Music, Atlanta, GA; and also a 2018 Fellow of Art Omi: Music. He is the founder of the J-Clef Chorale, a chorale group dedicated to training choral music enthusiast in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and its environs in the art of choral singing. Jude is passionate about training and conducting choirs and is eager to collaborate with composers and across disciplines. 

Benton Schmidt

Liturgical Choir Co-Director

Originally hailing from the prairies of North Dakota, Benton Schmidt began studying piano at the age of five. In 2017, he received his Bachelor’s in Piano Performance from North Dakota State University, and directed music at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell, South Dakota for the next two years. Benton is also a tenor with a passion for teaching congregations the greatest music of the Church: Gregorian chant. He loves studying literature in his spare time, especially J. R. R. Tolkien, Jane Austen, and C. S. Lewis. Last year, Schmidt made his theatrical début as Mr. Paravacini in a community production of Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap.

Thomas Valle-Hoag 

Cantabile Choir Co-Director

Thomas is an avid performer of opera, art-song, and chamber music from all time periods.  Originally from Concord Massachusetts, he recently finished the double degree program at Oberlin College and Conservatory.  At Oberlin, he earned a BM in vocal performance and a BA in Latin Language and literature, while serving as the music minister of the Oberlin College Newman Catholic Community.  Thomas has performed with Apollo’s Fire in Cleveland, and Emmanuel Music in Boston.  He also holds a cantor position at Holy Family Parish in his hometown.