Michael Bennett is the choral director of the award winning Varsity Singers, A Cappella, and Accents, and also teaches advanced class piano. Michael, a native of Roanoke, VA is a proud graduate of the Indiana University School of Music where he received his Bachelor’s degree in Organ Performance and the Master of Music degree in Organ Performance and Choral Conducting.
Mr. Bennett is the Director of Music at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Lafayette, where he continues to oversee and expand the parish’s diverse musical offerings, directs the multi-generational choir program, administrates the concert series, and serves as organist for all services. Michael is also Artistic Director of the Lafayette Master Chorale.
As a concert organist, Mr. Bennett has performed extensively across the Midwest and East Coast, playing in cathedrals and for chapters of the American Guild of Organists in more than ten states. His most recent collaboration was with the choirs of Vassar College, where he made his discography debut in a live performance of Mozart’s Requiem, K.626.
John Satterfield is the choral director of The First Edition, CSN and Accents, and also teaches courses in piano. John received his Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Illinois State University and his graduate degree from Eastern Illinois University. John has taught vocal music in several schools throughout Illinois and Indiana for the past 25 years and has served as a vocal clinician at several music festivals and show choir competitions.
In 1991, Mr. Satterfield studied opera performance throughout Germany and Austria. Mr. Satterfield has performed in several operas, operettas, musicals, and appeared as a soloist for several major oratorios. He has performed the roles of Albert Herring in the opera Albert Herring by Benjamin Britten, Basilio in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, Nanki-Poo in Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado, John Adams in 1776 and most recently as Prof. Harold Hill in the Civic Under the Stars’ production of The Music Man.
Verda Slinkard is the choral director of Expressions and A Cappella, and also teaches courses in piano. A graduate of Indiana State University (B.A. in Choral Education), Verda earned her Master’s Degree in Guidance Counseling at Indiana University. Before coming to Jefferson, she taught at Edgewood High School (Ellettsville, IN) for 36 years.
During her tenure at EHS, Ms. Slinkard developed four outstanding choral groups: Edgewood Singers, a small mixed ensemble; New Edition, a beginning show choir; Sophisticated Ladies, a female show choir; Music Warehouse, a mixed show choir. For many years Ms. Slinkard’s groups have long been regarded as major trend setters in the nation. Many innovations in the show choir idiom originally began at Edgewood High School.
In addition to her duties as a public school music educator, Ms. Slinkard has had the opportunity to share her love of music and performance by serving on the staff of Show Choir Camps of America for the past 32 years. In April 2012 she also was the recipient of FAME Lifetime Achievement Award.