Staff & Board
Dr. Julian Ackerley, Director
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Director of the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus since 1980, Julian Ackerley has achieved international acclaim as an accomplished conductor and administrator of children’s choral performing arts organizations.
Dr. Ackerley has taken the Chorus on performance tours spanning five continents and over 20 countries. Under his direction, the Chorus has made numerous recordings and has collaborated with national symphony orchestras and opera companies.
Dr. Ackerley is an experienced teacher, having taught music at all levels from elementary to university students. He received his Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Arizona with special emphasis in music education, vocal performance and choral conducting. He has been a guest conductor and clinician at numerous state, national and international choral festivals and conferences.
Gavin Ely, Assistant Conductor
Gavin Ely is a native Arizonan hailing from the Phoenix area. He has studied music at Brigham Young University and was graduated from Grand Canyon University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music with a major in Vocal Performance and minor in Piano Performance. His performing credits include The Pirates of Penzance (Pirate King), HMS Pinafore (Ralph), Cosi Fan Tutte (Ferrando), Into the Woods (Baker), Little Women: An Opera in Two Acts (Laurie) and Oklahoma (Will Parker). He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Choral Conducting at the University of Arizona. His mentors include Mae Gustave, Tracy Peterson, Rosalind Hall, Dr. Sheila Corley, Dr. Juan Hernandez, Mark Fearey, and Dr. Bruce Chamberlain. Gavin gives thanks for much love and support to his wife, Cadie, and his children Peter, Freddy and Daphne.
Marie Sierra, Principal Accompanist
Marie Sierra is a professional pianist who performs collaboratively in over 40 concerts annually and serves as the Touring Accompanist for the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus. Ms. Sierra toured with the Boys Chorus in Russia, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, Japan, South Korea, China and throughout the United States. She has performed and recorded with flautist Viviana Cumplido of the Phoenix Symphony, Michael Becker of the Tucson Symphony Orchestra, and with Yamaha Saxophone Artist, Michael Hester, on Seasons and An American Patchwork.
Marie is in demand as an accompanist throughout the United States and Mexico. Additionally, she has performed at numerous international music conferences, including the ITEC conferences in Denver, Colorado, Riva del Garda, Italy and Greensboro, North Carolina. Marie has served on the faculties of the Belmont University in Nashville and the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in piano performance at the University of Miami and resides in Tucson with her husband Hank Feldman and their two children, Samantha and Nicholas.
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Board of Directors:
Kelly Burkholder '68
Ken Morris '96
Robert G Patrick
Thomas Wilson '55
This organization does not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity in hiring/employment practices.