ARTISTIC & EXECUTIVE STAFF
Dr. Mark Nabholz is Director of Choral Activities at Mississippi College where he conducts the nationally recognized MC Singers, and Choctaw Chorus. In addition to his conducting duties, Dr. Nabholz teaches conducting and choral literature at the undergraduate and graduate levels, coordinates the MM in choral music, and teaches studio voice.
Prior to his arrival at Mississippi College, he was on the faculty at Erskine College (SC), and Brevard College (NC), and served for nearly 20 years as a church musician in Georgia where he was Founding Director of The Augusta Youth Chorale, a 48-voice auditioned choir of teen singers drawn from throughout the greater Augusta area. In 2012 the AYC was the Featured Choir at the Nation’s Capitol Festival of Youth Choirs held in the National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.
Dr. Nabholz holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of South Carolina, a Master of Music degree from the Eastman School of Music (NY), and a Bachelor of Music from Houghton College (NY). His conducting teachers include Larry Wyatt, Donald Neuen, and Donald Bailey. He currently serves as one of four Repertoire and Resource Coordinators for the Mississippi American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), encouraging quality community-based singing in church and civic choirs throughout our state. Dr. Nabholz is a member of the editorial board for The Choral Scholar, the peer-review journal of the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO), and is an active member of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the Society for Eighteenth Century Music (SECM), and the National Association for Teachers of Singing (NATS).
Mark and his wife, Fran, have four children, and reside in Clinton.
A native of Rayville, Louisiana, Dr. Angela Willoughby earned both the Bachelor of Music and the Master of Music degrees in piano performance at Mississippi College, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance at Louisiana State University. Prior to joining the faculty at Mississippi College in 1999, she taught at Grambling University (LA) and Belhaven College (MS). In addition to her teaching responsibilities at MC, she also serves as Chair of the Department of Music.
Highly regarded as both performer and teacher, Dr. Willoughby has also conducted extensive research on the lives of two teachers in her pedagogical lineage, Ernst von Dohnanyi and Edward Kilenyi. She has presented three lecture-recitals on the topic, and produced a documentary film, “Two Friends in Tallahassee: Ernst von Dohnanyi and Eddy Kilenyi.”
In 2009, Dr. Willoughby was the recipient of the Humanities Teacher Award presented by the Humanities Council of Jackson. In that same year, she was also recognized as the Mississippi College Distinguished Lecturer for Arts and Sciences. She is a long-time member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and the Mississippi Music Teachers Association (MMTA). She is Past-President of that organization and served in various positions on its Executive Board for fourteen years. Dr. Willoughby continues to be active as a presenter and adjudicator for keyboard festivals such as MTNA and MMTA-sponsored events and the Mississippi State Baptist Keyboard Festival.
Dr. Willoughby has served area churches as organist, organist-choirmaster, and choir director, and is currently organist at First Baptist Church in Clinton. She has been active as a collaborative pianist and chamber musician, having served as accompanist for the Masterworks Chorus of Monroe (LA) and the Jackson Choral Society here in Jackson. Her hobbies include biking and visiting her two grandchildren.
Assistant Collaborative Pianist
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Portia Davis showed a love and interest in music at a young age. She began learning piano at the age of 10 and quickly added flute and singing to her arsenal of musical talents. She was heavily involved in pre-college music programs through the University of Houston and other universities in the surrounding area.
Ms. Davis attended the University of Mississippi and received a Bachelors in Music Education with a concentration in Keyboard under the teaching of Dr. Ian Hominick. She then attended the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign where she completed two Masters of Music: the first in Piano Pedagogy under Dr. Reid Alexander and Dr. William Heiles and the second in Vocal Coaching and Accompanying under Professor Dennis Helmrich. Ms. Davis has accompanied countless vocal and instrumental recitals and numerous opera productions and choral programs.
She now resides in Jackson, Mississippi where she is the piano and written theory instructor at Power Academic and Performing Arts Complex. She continues to make music every day and looks forward to many more musical opportunities in her future.
Ms. Boyer's years of administration experience provide a focused, overall strategic and operational knowledge to The Mississippi Chorus' staff to envision and lead programs, support artistic vision, envision expansion, and execution of its mission. She has a deep knowledge of the world of chorale music, The Chorus' core programs, operations, and business plans. She actively engages and energizes The Chorus volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations and funders. Her leadership helps deepen and refine all aspects of communications from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a strong and continuing presence of The Mississippi Chorus in the local and state communities.
She is thoroughly committed to The Chorus' mission, providing proven leadership, coaching, and relationship management experience. Ms. Boyer holds a master's degree in Administration, is a published author, owns a media consulting business, and returns to The Chorus as Executive Director, bringing multiple years of experience in administration, public relations, and marketing the nonprofit arts-based community.
Her passion, commitment to The Chorus mission, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven focus, and self-directed work ethos have been critical to the growth of the organization.
In her view, MUSIC CHANGES EVERYTHING. It will change the lives of those who sing and those who listen, every time.