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.
Dr. Kuei-Fan Lin, Accompanist
A native of Taiwan, Dr. Lin completed her doctoral studies in composition from the Universtiy of Arizona (2014). She also received her Master and Bachelor of Musical Arts in Composition and Theory from National Taipei University of Education (2008, 2006) with minors in piano and vocal performance.
Dr. Lin is a composer, pianist, and educator. While an undergraduate, she studied for musical education and had numerous opportunities teaching in elementary schools. She enjoyed her time teaching and playing music with children. Before entering the University of Arizona, she had also been an accompanist for the choir in the First Presbyterian Church in Taiwan for several years.
Being a composer, Dr. Lin's music ranges from acoustic to electronic music. She has received numerous prizes and her pieces have been selected from many computer music conferences and performed in several places, among them: Arizona, New York, Connecticut, Virginia, Wisconsin, Chicago, England, Holland, Slovenia, Greece, Australia, Shanghai, Beijing, and Taiwan.
Nancy Davis Booth, Development Director
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NANCY DAVIS BOOTH brings a wealth of knowledge, talent and experience to TABC. A musician with a national professional singing career which spans orchestras, opera, musical theater and recitals for over 35 years, she has held faculty positions at Concordia College and Butler University in Indianapolis and locally continues to direct productions at Pima Community College. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Theater and a Master of Science in Child Development and Family Studies from the UA. She also served as the Assistant Director and Director of Residential Services at Casa de los Ninos and was President of the Board of Directors for the Southern Arizona Children’s Advocacy Center. Nancy came to the chorus from the UA Foundation where she was the Associate Director of Regional Development. When asked why the TABC is important, Booth states, ”Being a member of the TABC develops young men with character, service leadership and self-discipline – all necessary to success in life. What an effective way to create great men and improve our community?”