Mark Brennan Doerries, conductor, composer, teacher, and performance artist, founded the Luminescence Project in 2004, a vocal ensemble dedicated to the composition and performance of multisensory music. The Luminescence Project has performed in the Philadelphia Live Arts and Fringe Festival, at the Indiana University Art Museum, and the Bloomington Arts Festival. Additional installations and compositions have been mounted in New York City, Vancouver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Roanoake, and Dayton. Recent original productions include staged performances of PASSIONATE CONVICTIONS, an electrified rock oratorio based on JS Bach's St. John Passion and Dreaming in Darkness, a choral, dance, and light show. Doerries traveled to São Paulo, Brazil with a multimedia production of Carmina Burana and later performed with Venezuela's Simon Bolivar Orchestra in the Latin American Music Festival of Caracas.
Doerries is the Post-Doctoral Fellow of conducting at the University of Notre Dame where he is the Artistic Director of the Notre Dame Children's Choir (NDCC). Over the past two years the NDCC has grown into a five choir ensemble with over 120 singers. The choir regularly commissions new choral works, most recently by composers Ruth Boshkoff and Stephen Mager, and stages multi-disciplinary performances including operas, shadow-puppet theater, and a work performed in darkness with blacklights. In 2014 Doerries conducted and stage directed an outdoor, multimedia performance of Britten's children's opera Noye's Fludde.
At Notre Dame, Doerries instructs courses in conducting, choral literature, and choral methods at the graduate level. In February of 2014, Doerries co-hosted with Margot Fassler the conference The Chorister and the Church of the Future: Models for Training Children and Youth in Sacred Choral Repertories, which brought together leading scholars, practicioners, and music educators to discuss new models of sustainable sacred music children's ensembles. Each May Doerries leads an annual children's choral festival in South Bend, IN that unites children's choirs from across northern Indiana.
In 2015 Doerries will direct services and performances at Leeds Catherdral in Leeds, UK, and lead the NDCC on a regional tour of Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and New York City. In February, Doerries presents a TEDx talk on empowering children as leaders.
Doerries recently presented at the American Choral Directors Association's national conference on the principles of multimedia performance, the subject of his dissertation: Conceptual Blending and Becoming as Tools for Intrepreting Choral Multidisciplinary Performances. A similar presentation is scheduled for the Association of Canadian Choral Communities. Doerries presented at the Modern Language Association's conference on William Grant Still's And They Lynched Him on a Tree and civil rights in the 1940s deep-south. Additional lectures and workshops include appearances at the Festival 500 Choral Conference in Newfoundland, CA, the Hawaii International Conference on the Humanities, and at the City University of New York's Symposium on Music and Meaning. Doerries presents an annual workshop for singers with the Masterwork's Chorale of St. Louis on Baroque performance practice and performing works of Bach and Handel.
Doerries served as assistant conductor and chorusmaster to Indiana University Opera Theater and Ballet preparing choruses for Constantine Kitsopoulos, Mark Gibson, Dan Riddle, and Jeffery Cook including Die Fledermaus,Die Zauberflöte, The Light in the Piazza, and The Nutcracker. As intern conductor of the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Doerries prepared choruses for Alan Harler including La Rondine and Turandot.
Until December 2012, Doerries was the Director of Choral Music at Olney Central College in Olney, IL. Doerries received his doctorate in choral conducting from Indiana University in May of 2013. He holds a master’s degree in conducting from Temple University in Philadelphia, additional graduate work in music theory from Queen’s College, City University of New York, and degrees in music and biology from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA.
In addition to musical pursuits, Doerries’ research on chemosynthetic deep-sea ecosystems is published in the journals Deep-Sea Research and Marine Ecology. Doerries collaborated on a discovery expedition to the uncharted ecosystem of the Blake Ridge Methane Seep 300 miles off the coast of South Carolina, diving 2100 meters below the ocean’s surface in the deep-submergence vehicle ALVIN. An avid sailor, Doerries crewed aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer, a double masted brigantine tall sailing vessel, sailing from Woods Hole, MA to Bermuda conducting research on migration paths of eastern Atlantic eel populations documenting factors catalyzing their rapid population decline.