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Artistic Leadership

Dr. Casey J. Hayes is the Artistic Director of the Indianapolis Arts Chorale, a position he began in 2017. Hayes is an Associate Professor of Music at Franklin College, in Franklin, IN, where he Chairs the Music Department, holds the A.J. Thurston Endowed Chair of Music and conducts the FC Singers, Women’s Chorus and Men’s Chorus and A Cappella Women’s Ensemble. Prior to his FC appointment in 2009, he served as the Chair of the Creative Arts Department as well as the Choral and Band Director of The Hewitt School in New York City, a private school for girls on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.  Casey began playing the piano at age 7 under legendary teachers Armilla Zix Wilson and Edgar Roberts of The Juilliard School.  He holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in Music Education and Choral Conducting from Butler University, where he studied with acclaimed choral conductor Henry Leck and composer/arranger James Quitman Mulholland.

Casey received his Ph.D in Music Education from the Steinhardt School of Education, New York University, in 2009. His doctoral research focused on Educational Outreach within Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Choruses.  His studies of the GLBT Choral Movement led him to be the Music Director of the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus, as well as Musical Director of The New York City Ambassador Chorus, which is the outreach arm of the NYCGMC.  In 2007, Casey founded the Gay Men’s Chorus of Manhattan, an ensemble focused upon raising funds for Not-for Profit organizations in need; the first community chorus of its kind in the country.  Dr. Hayes is also the past Artistic Director of the Cincinnati Men’s Chorus.

Casey is in worldwide demand as a clinician and speaker on issues facing GLBT community choruses. He has made many recent presentations throughout the United States, Canada, and the UK, and he presents papers at many professional conferences, including (for example) the 27th World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and the 33rd World Conference of the International Society for Music Education in Glasgow, Scotland. His international work within the world of community choruses led him to be a founding member of the North American Coalition for Community Music.  His scholarly works include two publications with Routledge Press on issues facing Music Education within the GLBT paradigm. He is currently researching the life and music of Weimar-Era cabaret performer Willy Rosen and his “Theater des Prominenten”.

In addition to championing the causes of the GLBT choral movement, Casey also served as Musical Director for Tony Award-winning Broadway actress Joanna Gleason.  In his spare time, Dr. Hayes adjudicates high school marching bands and show choirs around the Midwest.  Dr. Hayes is an avid collector of Antique Musical Beer Steins and early musical instruments.

Professional affiliations include the Board of the New York State Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association. He is a past member of the Board of Directors of the International Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses) and the Board of Advisors for the Chicago Arts Orchestra. He has professional affiliations with the ACDA, the Music Educators National Conference, Chorus America, Phi Delta Theta National Fraternity, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, the New York State School Music Association, and Stein Collectors International.

Dr. Eric P. DeForest, tenor, is a professor of voice at Franklin College in Franklin, IN and Director of Music Ministries at St. Mark’s United Methodist Church in Carmel, IN. Eric has previously taught at the University of Charleston, WV and Northern Kentucky University. Eric received his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Vocal Performance with an Opera Emphasis from The University of Texas at Austin in 2004. Eric has sung professionally both nationally and internationally including such places as Austin, TX, Cincinnati, OH, New Orleans, LA, Buffalo, NY, Salzburg, Austria, Belle-Ile, France, and Bamberg, Germany. Eric has been a voice teacher since 1991. Eric is originally from the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York and is an avid collector of all things frog.

A native of Japan, Haruka Ostojic received her Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she additionally obtained her Performer Diploma, under the tutorship of the world-famous Russian pianist and the founding member of Borodin Trio, Prof. Luba Edlina-Dubinsky.

In a decade-long career as a collaborator, Ostojic has worked with the teaching studios of distinguished professors of music such as Jaime Laredo, Janos Starker, Andreas Poulimenos, Alex Kerr, and Sylvia McNair, to name a few. She is often invited to collaborate with competitors at the Muncie Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition, Carmel Symphony Young Artist Competition, and World Piano Competition (Cincinnati, OH). She has also made appearances as a guest performer and a judge in music festivals and competitions in the U.S. and Europe. During the summer, Ostojic is engaged in the Carmel Klavier International Piano Competition as an organizer as well as the accompanist for its concerto division.

Ostojic currently is appointed at the University of Indianapolis Music Department as Assistant Professor and Director of the Pre-College Program.

Founded in 1972, the Indianapolis Arts Chorale uplifts the human spirit for multiple generations of singers and audiences by building deep emotional connections through the art of choral singing. The Indianapolis Arts Chorale is a not‑for‑profit community of auditioned voices with a commitment to excellence and a passion for choral music and its future. These are its hallmarks and have been for nearly half a century.

Mission Statement

The Indianapolis Arts Chorale is a community of voices who engage our audiences through the art of choral singing. The primary purpose of the IAC is musical excellence in performance for the education, enjoyment, and cultural enrichment of our audiences and ourselves. The IAC also seeks to provide social and fellowship experiences to deepen and enrich our lives. Further, we identify as an organization of individuals, who are making a positive contribution to the entire community, without regard for race, creed, color, gender, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, age, physical, or mental ability.