Ignite the power of singing, not only as an art form but also as a vehicle to enhance health and happiness in our community.
Our Singing Communities.
Pop a cappella ensemble inspiring and entertaining our community through singing.
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.
Wednesdays beginning January 2024
Meet the Team.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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!
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!
Really. Ask us anything.