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Sing Stark

Creating diverse singing communities and choral experiences throughout Stark County.

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Our Mission

Ignite the power of singing, not only as an art form but also as a vehicle to enhance health and happiness in our community. 

Explore

Our Singing Communities.

WHY: 

An energetic  and supportive community of mature adults, focusing on the health and wellness benefits of group singing in partnership with Aultman Generations.

 

WHO:

Any person age 55+, prior singing experience is not a prerequisite.

 

WHEN:

Wednesdays, 10AM-11AM, Spring Session begins March 6th.

 

WHERE:

 Aultman North, Health Education Building, Community Room

6064 Whipple Ave NW, Canton, OH

WHY:

A dynamic and diverse ensemble that brings together voices passionate about the power of music and united by their love of gospel music. 

WHO:

Adult auditioned voices. 

 

WHEN:

Fall 2024

 

WHERE:

TBA

WHY:

Pop a cappella ensemble inspiring and entertaining our community through singing.

 

WHO:

16 trained adult voices selected through an extensive audition process, specializing in fresh and reimagined arrangements, expressed through the beauty and range of the human voice.

 

WHEN:

Wednesdays, 6:30-9:00 PM.

 

WHERE:

TBA

WHY:

A community of auditioned adult singers using their collective voice to inspire,

ignite crucial conversations and influence positive change.

WHO:

Adult auditioned voices.

WHEN:

Spring Cycle begins Tuesday, January 30th, 7-9 PM

WHERE:

St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 425 Cleveland Ave. W, Canton, OH

WHY:

LGBTQIA+ and allied singers, dedicated to celebrating diversity, inspiring equity, and building a community of acceptance.

WHO:

Adult voices who choose to celebrate and honor diversity through singing. 
- No auditions are required.

WHEN:

Thursdays, 6:30-7:45 PM, beginning February 22, 2024

WHERE:

The Cultural Center for the Arts, Cable Recital Hall

1001 Market Ave N., Canton, OH

WHY:

A supportive singing space designed to support Stark County neighbors facing hardships such as food insecurity, homelessness, and other challenges. In partnership with Refuge of Hope, this program utilizes “singing together” to improve well-being, build social networks, and inspire RESILIENCE.

WHO:

Everyone is welcome!

 

WHEN:

Thursdays, 3:15-4:15 PM, beginning March 14th, 2024

 

WHERE:

The Refuge of Hope 

715 Second St. NE, Canton, OH 44704

WHY:

Inclusive gatherings, strengthening our community through group singing.

WHO:

Everyone is welcome.

WHEN:

C'Mon Sing-Beatles, Thursday, April 11th at 7:30 PM 

 

WHERE:

The Auricle-Venue & Bar, Canton, OH

Check Out

 Our Upcoming Events.

YOU are our biggest advocate, and we thank you for supporting our Stark County singers!

About Us

Meet the Team.

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Carol Olson

Executive Director | Sing Stark

Carol Olson has served as executive director for Sing Stark since 2014. After twenty-four years of performing, coaching, and teaching, Carol moved into arts administration, advocating for the Arts in a new role. In her tenure with Sing Stark, the organization has expanded from one performing ensemble to multiple ensembles, community engagement programs as well as educational programs. She performed roles in the Opera Theater program at the Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University while studying with Virginia Zeani and pursuing an MM in Vocal Performance. Carol was the recipient of a private opera fellowship, studying at the Teatro La Fenice, in Venice, Italy and was an opera fellow at the Blossom and Aspen Music Festivals.

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John Hayward

Director | Senior Sing

John Hayward has lived most of his life in Canton/North Canton area. He grew up at the Canton Police Boys Club and graduated from Lincoln High School. He is a graduate of the Westminster Choir College, Princeton, New Jersey and did graduate study at Peabody Conservatory, Eastern Kentucky University and Kent State University. As a Music Specialist in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict he served as the assistant Director of and soloist with the Soldiers' Chorus of Washington, D.C. He taught high school Choral Music and Theatre Arts and served churches in five states for 40 years. Locally he served as Director of the Canton Police Boys Club Choir, the Canton Civic Opera, the Greater Canton Mens Chorus and the Canton Symphony Opera productions.  Currently he is the Minister of Music at Community Christian Church, North Canton.  He is married to Jennifer Catazaro (assistant Artistic Director of School of Canton Ballet). They have 7 children and 7 Grandchildren.

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Mickey McGroarty

Music Director | Vox Audio

Mickey McGroarty is a conductor-composer and pianist based in Akron, Ohio, where he lives with his fiancée Anneliese and two cats, Twilight and Piper. McGroarty earned his Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the University of Akron under Marie Bucoy-Calavan after obtaining his Bachelor of Arts degree in Music from the same institution. He is currently the choir director / organist at Church of Our Saviour Episcopal in Akron and pianist at Temple Israel in Fairlawn in addition to teaching choir, organ, voice, piano, and fundamentals of music at Hiram College. McGroarty’s compositions and arrangements have been performed all over the world from Los Angeles to Munich, Germany, and have been workshopped with such names as Jake  Runestad and Deke Sharon.

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Edward Grimes

Music Director | Sing Stark Chorale 

A Northeast Ohio native, Edward holds a B.A. in Music and M.M. in Conducting from the Hugh A. Glauser School of Music at Kent State University. After graduation, he joined the staff as a collaborative artist working with vocalists, instrumentalists, and ensembles. Mr. Grimes worked extensively before and after the turn of the century for the Kent/Blossom Music Festival both in operations, and administrative roles, and as rehearsal conductor for their chamber orchestra programs.  He joined the staff of Opera Cleveland for their 2007 and 2008 seasons as assistant chorus master.  In 2008, he began teaching music, and later gardening and agriculture at Spring Garden Waldorf School in Akron, Ohio where he continues teaching presently. After 26 years at Christ Episcopal Church in Kent, he assumed the position of Director of Music and Organist at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Canton, Ohio, and most recently completed his first season singing with Cleveland Chamber Choir. Edward lives with his wife Jennifer and their two much-loved dogs in Kent, Ohio

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Ezra Keeton

Music Director | Sing Out Stark

Ezra Keeton, director of Sing Out Stark, is excited to welcome you to this group which celebrates our LGBTQIA+ community through song. He holds both bachelors and masters’ degrees in Vocal Performance from Kent State University and is an accomplished vocal coach. He currently teaches voice at Kent State University at Stark and Firestone Community Learning Center. Ezra also coaches musical productions, most recently Sweeney Todd and Lizzie: The Musical at Akron Civic Theatre. His experience as a performer spans decades and genres including performances as Berger in Hair! the rock musical, Judge in Gilbert & Sullivan’s Trial by Jury, and The Witch in Engelbert Humperdinck’s Hansel und Gretel on stage. He has enjoyed the opportunity to perform with Tulsa Opera Chorus in their production of La Bohème and on the stages of EJ Thomas Performing Arts Hall and Severance Hall.

 

Ezra is passionate about building spaces that are safe for members of the queer community. During his time at Kent State University he served as the Graduate representative for Kent State School of Music Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Anti-Racism (DEIA) Taskforce. Sing Out Stark makes room for people from myriad identities and intersections to have a home where they can feel included, feel comfortable taking up space, and be heard.

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Stephen Popa

Music Director | The Resilience Choir

Stephen Popa has been conducting urban high school choirs for over 20 years, first in Lima, Ohio and now in Canton at McKinley High School. He holds a B.A. in Music Education from Baldwin Wallace University and a M.M. in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati.   His students perform regularly in adjudicated events sponsored by the Ohio Music Education Association. Several students have been accepted into regional and national honor choirs and many have continued into music as a career. He co-directs the annual 911 community chorus each summer. Mr. Popa is currently finishing his two year elected term on the board of the Ohio Choral Directors Association of which he is an active member. In his spare time he enjoys travel and lounging on the couch with this 13 year old Boston Terrier.

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JOSEPH DANIEL LEWIS, I

Music Director | Sing Stark Gospel 

Born in Akron, Ohio, the direction of Joseph’s life was evident at an early age as he began preaching, singing, and playing the piano at the age of four. He graduated from Massillon Washington High School. His post high school education includes studies at Howard University, Livingstone College, where he served for two years as director of the gospel choir, and a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Kent State University in 2003. He was ordained a minister in 2004, and served as Senior Pastor of Trinity AME Zion Church in Pittsburgh, PA until returning to Northeast Ohio in 2017. He served as lead music director at St. James AME Zion Church in Massillon, Ohio for 10 years. There he led in the production of two albums: “God will Take Care of You,” and “Greater Still.” A singer/songwriter, he wrote and produced an album for The Lewis Group entitled “Our God Reigns” in 2015, and has written and produced music for various artists both regionally and nationally. Presently, Joseph serves as Lead Pastor of Reachmark Church in Massillon, Ohio. He is married to Ebony Lewis, FNP. Together they have five children.

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Emily Leishman Roh

Music Director/Education Facilitator

Emily, a talented musician with over a decade of choral education experience, began her musical journey at age 8 with the International Children's Choir in Salt Lake City. She has shared stages with renowned artists like The Kings Singers and performed for international dignitaries, including the Dalai Lama. Emily holds a Bachelor's in Music Education and led the University Singers to victory at the Abu Ghosh musical festival in 2010.

She later excelled as a teacher at Eisenhower Jr High in Utah, doubling enrollment in theater and choir programs while earning top honors at the Utah State Junior High Choir Festival. Emily has directed 30 productions and performed in various semi-professional theater productions. She currently educates with New Direction Performing Arts Academy in Ohio.

Emily's passion for music and community drives her to empower singers and foster a love for music with Sing Stark!

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Joy Ellis

Music Director |Youth Choir  

Joy Ellis is a North Canton based Vocal Instructor and Acting Coach. She has been training students since 2008. Specializing in vocal technique building for longevity, vocal health, performance and audition prep. Joy helps speakers, actors and singers find their confidence by helping them build solid skills that will allow for optimal performance.  Joy’s students range from beginner to advanced. Her students have a wide range of performance experience (Musical theater, speaking, studio work, recording artists, television and voice overs).

 

In 2016 Joy became Founder and CEO of Joylife Talent Development Group and committed to helping performers get to the next level in performing arts. She focuses on individual goals and takes time to develop each session to fit the performer. Creating a fun, relaxed environment to learn in is key to getting the best out of each student and session.
 

Joy received her BFA in Theater Arts from Livingstone College in Salisbury N.C. Prior to college her extensive training in competitive speech led her to compete and excel on the District, State and National Levels. She won 4th in the Nation for her humorous interpretation of Live and In Color. Her professional career has taken her all over the country and throughout Europe. Joy was a contestant on American Idol performing in Hollywood. Joy has led in musicals such as Once On This Island, The Wiz, Sister Act, Doubt, AIDA, Ragtime, and Memphis. 

Joy is passionate about passing on the skills and knowledge that she has learned to the next generation. She is a firm believer in the fact that opportunity loves preparation. If you are prepared when your opportunity comes, you will always SHINE!

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