A native of Southern California, Ms. Davis earned her undergraduate degree with election to Phi Beta Kappa at Scripps College of the Claremont Colleges, and her Master's degree in Choral Conducting and Master of Fine Arts degree in Voice at The University of lowa. Prior to her arrival in Indiana, Ms. Davis served as Assistant Professor of Music at Northwestern State University of Louisiana for five years, and at Cottey College of Missouri for two years, and in 1991 was one of twelve national recipients of the Roy A. Schussler Fellowship for Outstanding Young Voice Teachers awarded by the National Association of Teachers of Singing. Ms. Davis currently serves as Adjunct Professor of Voice at Indiana State University.
Peggy Balensuela, Assistant Professor of Voice, has been a member of the ISU Faculty since 1989. She teaches studio voice, opera literature, song literature, and is the academic advisor for vocal performance majors.
Dr. Balensuela is an active recitalist and concert soloist whose repertoire spans a wide range of styles: from the arias of Bach and Handel and their contemporaries to show tunes of Broadway's golden age, from the lyricism of Mozart to the most challenging repertoire of the 20th century art music. She has twice been an artist/fellow with the Bach Aria Festival and Institute in Stony Brook, NY.
Recent engagements have included solo appearances with the Kingsport, TN Symphony in performances of Honegger's King David and An Evening at the Opera, a performance of Mahler's Symphony #2 with the Terre Haute, IN Symphony Orchestra, numerous Messiah performances throughout the Midwest, a Beethoven Symphony #9 in Winnetka, IL, and as soloist with the Louisville Orchestra in a performance of Samuel Adler's Symphony #5, a five-song cycle for mezzo and orchestra, as a part of ISU's Contemporary Music Festival.
Upcoming solo engagements for Dr. Balensuela include a performance of Verdi's Requiem with the Depauw University Orchestra and Chorus, a tour with Ars Musica Chicago performing music of Handel, and a number of solo recitals. Dr. Balensuela earned the doctorate in vocal performance from Indiana University and is a member of the VoiceCare Network.
David B. Mannell, a native of Topeka, Kansas, received his Bachelor of Music Education degree from Emporia State University. He taught music in the public schools for seven years in Madison, Kansas, where he was nominated for the Master Teacher award for the state of Kansas. He continued his education in the opera program at the University of Illinois; and in the Fall of 1991, spent three months studying with Luciano Pavarotti's former teacher, Maestro Arrigo Polo, in Modena, Italy.
In recent years he has performed frequently with the Indianapolis Opera Company and presently directs its shows for the Educational Outreach Program. Mr. Mannell has appeared in leading roles in over twenty operas and musicals throughout the United States and Europe. His concert credits include performing as tenor soloist with conductor Robert Shaw and with renowned pianist John Wustman on his Schubert Song Recital series. He has also appeared with the Northwest Indiana Symphony and the Sinfonia da Camera.
A frequent guest performer in the Quincy area, Mr. Mannell is appearing in his tenth Muddy River Opera Company production. Last year he performed the role of Archibald in The Secret Garden at Quincy Community Theater, and in October appeared with Ms. Spangler-Scott in an Andrew Lloyd Webber concert at Hannibal LaGrange College. Currently, Mr. Mannell is Director of Opera Workshop at Butler University and teaches voice at Indiana State University.
Stanley Irwin, bass-baritone, has won public and critical acclaim in Europe and the United States in opera, oratorio, and recital at major venues in New York, London, Vienna, Prague and Zurich. He has appeared at the Zurich Opera, Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and with major orchestras such as The Philharmonia Orchestra, the Dallas Svmphony Orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Czech State Orchestra, the Bohuslav Martinu Filharmonie at Dvorak Hall in Prague and the Konzerthaus in Vienna. As a winner of the World Wide Voice Competition in New York, he was awarded solo contracts to perform Beethoven's Ninth Symphony at Lincoln Center and an his British debut, Brahms's Ein Deutches Requiem at Barbican Hall in London. Irwin has performed more than 25 roles in opera and musical theater, most of the major works in oratorio and an extensive song repertoire. In 1996, he appeared with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra in the World Premiere of David Ott's song cycle, Renascence (Millay), followed by the New York premiere at Carnegie Hall with pianist Claude Cymerman. He has made media appearances an PBS, National Public Radio, Illinois Public Radio, And WQXR in New York; and has recorded with critical praise on the Gothic label. He has appeared at Carnegie Hall four times, twice as a singer and twice as a conductor. On May 31, 1998, he will be making his fifth appearance conducting The DePauw Choir with the New England Symphonic Ensemble. Irwin is Professor of Voice and Director of University Choirs at the DePauw University School of Music.