Alfred E. Sturgis
Alfred E. Sturgis is a highly sought after conductor whose versatility and extensive background allow him to journey comfortably into a wide variety of musical experiences. He currently serves as Music Director of the North Carolina Master Chorale, the Carolina Ballet and the Tar River Orchestra. Known for being a strong collaborative artist, Sturgis has also enjoyed a great deal of experience in Opera and Musical Theatre.
Sturgis has served as Guest Conductor for the New York City Ballet at Lincoln Center, North Carolina Symphony, Winston-Salem Symphony, Carolina Chamber Orchestra, Raleigh Civic Symphony, National Opera Company, Capital Opera, Long Leaf Opera, and North Carolina Theatre. He has conducted orchestral and opera performances overseas in France, Bulgaria, and China. Early in his career he performed a number of roles in musical theatre, opera, and oratorio, in addition to touring and recording in Southern France with the Robert Shaw Festival Singers.
Under his skilled artistic leadership the Master Chorale has made appearances at state and regional conferences of the American Choral Director’s Association, recorded three Christmas CDs, and several television broadcasts on WRAL and UNC-TV. They have also been involved in numerous successful collaborations with the Carolina Ballet and the North Carolina Symphony. In recognition of his dynamic musical leadership, Sturgis was awarded the 1996 Raleigh Medal of Arts.
Suzanne U. Polak is a versatile musician with a passion for ensemble and collaborative works in both performance and composition. She is currently on adjunct faculty at Elon University and also working at the University of North Carolina Greensboro. She has worked as a substitute keyboardist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, as Acting Principal with the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra and Virginia Symphony Orchestra; substitute with the North Carolina Symphony and the West Virginia Symphony; also with Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on both keyboard and dulcimer; and appeared with the PSO as: a soloist on Carnival of the Animals, playing organ for a performance of Richard Strauss’s Also Sprach Zarathustra and playing the theremin for their performance of David Del Tredici's Final Alice.
As a composer, she has fulfilled numerous music commissions, and was a recent participant at the 2021 Charlotte New Music Festival, where her work Fugue and Romance was premiered by the Beo String Quartet. She is currently residing in North Carolina, where she just completed her Doctoral Degree at the University of North Carolina- Greensboro.
Youth Choir Director
Daniel Monek, Ph.D.
Dr. Daniel Monek has been a Professor of Music at North Carolina State University in Raleigh since 2016 having served as the Head of the Department of Performing Arts & Technology (formerly Music) until 2023. He currently serves as a Fellow in faculty and academic affairs within the Office of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost. In addition, Monek also serves every summer as a choral instructor for the NC Governor’s School program and is active as a clinician and guest conductor. Prior to coming to North Carolina, he served for sixteen years as the Director of Choral Activities and Department Chair at Marietta College in Ohio.
He received his Ph.D. in Music from Edinburgh University (Scotland) and holds degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from the University of South
Florida. Monek has taught music in Florida’s public schools and was the founding Artistic and Musical Director of the New Edinburgh Orchestra in Scotland. He has served in numerous leadership positions for the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). As a conductor, he combines his work in early music styleswith a passionate interest in supporting new music and composers, having commissioned and premiered more than 30 choral and orchestral works.
Youth Choir Accompanist
Tom Koch is Associate Teaching Professor of Music at North Carolina State University, where he directs the music theory program. As a collaborative pianist, Tom has performed with North Carolina Opera, Carolina Ballet, NC Master Chorale, Cary Concert Singers, and the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop. He is also the keyboardist of NC State’s faculty rock band The Quadrivium Project. Tom received degrees in piano performance and music teaching from the Oberlin Conservatory and a Ph.D. in music history and theory from Rutgers University.