The Quarryland Men’s Chorus was founded in Summer 2002 by a small group of men seeking the opportunity to make music with fellow like-minded men.

History Highlights

A detailed history of the Chorus, Seasons 1-13 is available HERE.


Quarryland Men’s Chorus was founded in June, 2002. Founding member Sam Troxal hosted an organizational meeting at the Phi Delta Kappa International Headquarters in Bloomington. By this time, IU Assistant Professor of Music & Coordinator of Opera Coaching Mark Phelps had been named Artistic Director. By the time August auditions were held, Mark Phelps had stepped back and David White moved into the role of director. The first rehearsal of the Quarryland Men’s Chorus was held at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Tuesday, September 3, 2002, at 7:00 pm. David White soon left the group and period of operations without a director followed.


At a meeting to discuss the future of the group, held on Tuesday, January 7, 2003, Barry Magee agreed to direct the group. The Chorus performed their first concert on Saturday, May 10, 2003, as guests of the Bloomington Feminist Chorus. Eleven QMC performers participated.


The Quarryland Men’s Chorus performed its first full concert, An Evening of Music, with 10 performers on Saturday, January 24, 2004. On Thursday, February 5, the Articles of Incorporation are approved and filed by the Indiana Secretary of State. After a year and a half, the chorus is now an official entity.


In August, the Chorus receives word from the IRS that it has been granted exempt status from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The chorus is now eligible to receive tax deductible gifts and apply for certain grants to exempt organizations.


For the first time, the Board approved a budget at their June 19 meeting that includes a modest stipend for the musical director. In December, the chorus experiences a new milestone of recognition when their “Home for the Holidays” concert is broadcast four times on community access television, CATS.


At the June Board meeting, a budget is approved and Barry Magee is reappointed as Director. His title is officially changed from Musical Director to Artistic Director. After five years as manager and president, Jim Johnson moves into the new position of past president, making way for the leadership of Eric Metzler as president. The following day, the Chorus secured a post office box as its official mailing address.


On Tuesday, August 11, 2009, the Chorus begins rehearsal at a new location: First United Church. After years of generous support from the Unitarian Universalist Church, Quarryland moves to a new home that offers a dedicated choir room for rehearsal. The Chorus wins the Fox59 TV “Summer of Glee” competition on Wednesday, September 9, based on a DVD submission from Board member Chris Alford. The chorus was selected based on most creative performance, best singing, and best display of group’s talent. Winnings included a “Glee Prize Pack” and a 20-second spot featuring the Chorus aired during the primetime season premiere of the new Fox comedy Glee. On September 9, the first official Quarryland email newsletter is distributed, announcing our selection as “Summer of Glee” contest winners, an open house, upcoming performances, and our new rehearsal home.


In its first ever performance outside of Monroe County, the Chorus travels to Spencer on May 1, 2010, for the cornerstone re-dedication Centennial Celebration at the Owen County Courthouse. The group sang during the evening’s Formal Ball for a very appreciative audience in period costumes.


In April, the Chorus teams up with the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus to present their first joint concert, “American Landscapes.” Featuring music exclusively by American composers, the concert makes the Indianapolis Star’s list of Top Ten things to do for the weekend. Performing at Broadway United Methodist in Indianapolis on Saturday the 14th and at Bloomington’s First United Church on the 15th, the concert features operatic tenor soloist Conor Angell in the Charles Ives piece “General Booth Enters Into Heaven.” Later that year, the Chorus performed its first commissioned piece, Will & Testament (published as Legacy of Life in 2013) by Greg Gilpin. This commissioned piece premiered at the 2012 GALA Festival in Denver, Colorado. In July, Artistic Director Barry Magee begins a one-year sabbatical, leaving Interim Artistic Director Mitch Serslev in the lead.


In August, after a one-year sabbatical, Barry Magee returns to the Artistic Director role, with Mitch Serslev now serving as the Assistant Artistic Director.