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.

Suze Villano

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

Mrs. Villano, educator and vocalist, is Administrator of the Sacred Music Academy, co-director of the Cantabile Choir and Director of the Lyric children's choir for students with special needs. Mrs. Villano joined the organization in 2015 to support the mission of empowering young people to lead the revitalization of choral sacred music in our community and the world.

Mrs. Villano has been teaching children for over 25 years. In her former state of Colorado, she taught music and movement for toddlers and preschoolers before earning her Masters Degree in Elementary Education. She taught for eight years at St. Pius X Catholic School in Granger. In 2012, Mrs. Villano completed the Teaching Exceptional Children certificate 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 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 organbuilding, 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.

Erin Donegan

Assistant Director of the Notre Dame Children's Choir, Director of the Seraphim Choir and Liturgical Choir

Erin Donegan is the Assistant Director of the Notre Dame Children’s Choir, where she works with both the Liturgical Choir and the Seraphim Choir. She recently completed the Master of Sacred Music degree at the University of Notre Dame with a concentration in choral conducting. Erin continues to participate in the musical life of Notre Dame, singing as a member of the Concordia Choir and serving as Director of Music for Sacred Heart Parish at Notre Dame. She also sings with the South Bend Chamber Singers, under the direction of Dr. Nancy Menk. Erin previously earned a Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Illinois Wesleyan University. She teaches violin locally.

Emorja Roberson

African American Music Specalist

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. 

Ryan Peteraf

Descant Choir Director

Ryan Peteraf is from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He is currently a conducting student in the sacred music program at Notre Dame. He recieved a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of the Arts. In his free time, Ryan can be found listening to Mozart, watching superhero movies, and playing the piano.

Zen Kuriyama

Seraphim Choir

Zen Kuriyama- currently a MSM in Conducting student at the University of Notre Dame- holds a Master of Music degree in Voice Performance from Stony Brook University in NY, and a B.A. in Music (magna cum laude) from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. Active as a singer, choral conductor, and musicologist, Zen has been the recipient of the Belari Scholar Award, the Presser Scholar Award, the Doris and Clarence Glick Classical Music Foundation Grant, and the Orvis Vocal Scholar Award. He has been a Fellow at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and the Amherst Early Music Festival, and an apprentice at Berkshire Choral International and the Hawaii Performing Arts Festival. Zen is a proud member of the American Choral Directors Association and the American Musicological Society. 

Nolan Carter

Liturgical Choir and Cantabile Choir

Nolan Carter was born and raised in Whittier, CA, to two musician parents. He attended Wheaton College in the western suburbs of Chicago, where he studied voice and theater. Nolan is a first year voice student in the MSM program at Notre Dame and has a deep love for Shakespeare, Bach, and W H Auden. 

Alyse Jamieson

Cantabile Choir Director

Alyse hails from the Pacific Northwest, receiving her degrees in Vocal Performance & Early Music from the University of Oregon. She is passionate about Renaissance polyphony, Baroque opera seria and oratorio, and punk rock music. When she is not singing Alyse enjoys sailing, photography, cooking, and being outdoors.

Emily Swope

Cherub Choir Director

Emily Swope is from the small town of Derry, New Hampshire. She moved to Italy and to Vienna, Austria with her family while a teenager, where she discovered her love for classical music and choral singing. She is one of nine children, and she absolutely loves working with kids. Co-directing one of the Notre Dame Children's Choirs is one of the highlights of her career so far!

Brandon Hollihan

Voices of Courage Choir Director

Constantine Novotny

Liturgical Choir and Seraphim Choir

Emily Bird

Cherub Choir Director

Mark Laseter 

Cantabile Choir Director

Mark Laseter, tenor, enjoys a varied career of singing, accompanying, and teaching. Previous accompanist engagements include a year with the American Boychoir School, the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, the 2016 Tennessee All State Honor Choir, and the 2012 Southern Division ACDA Honor Choir. As a professional choral singer, Mark has appeared with Seraphic Fire and Grammy award winning ensemble The Crossing. This past year saw Mark in the United Kingdom where highlights include performances for Prince William Duke of Cambridge at Hereford Cathedral, for Charles Prince of Wales in a concert at Buckingham Palace, and for Pope Francis both in St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel. Mark received his bachelor’s degree in voice performance from Westminster Choir College and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in sacred music at the University of Notre Dame.

Fatima Anyekema 

Descant Choir Director

Fatima is currently a MSM 1st year vocal performance student. She is a contralto who back home in Nigeria where she is from has previously worked as a soloist and chorus singer in the Musical Society of Nigeria (MUSON) Choir, Music instructor in a music academy, served as choir master in her parish, assistant choir director of the children's choir, and the leader of the Musica Casa Chorale that participated in the World Choir Games held in Pretoria, South Africa in July. She is passionate about teaching and performance and hopes to be a faculty member in a reputable Nigerian university.

Clayton Brown

NDCC Operations Assistant and Driver

Annah Agnew

NDCC Choir Assistant, Cantabile Choir

Jade Panlener

NDCC Choir Assistant, Cherub Choir