Faculty Profiles

Nancy Menk

Nancy Menk

Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music
Department Chair



Nancy Menk holds the Mary Lou and Judd Leighton Chair in Music at Saint Mary's College, Notre Dame, Indiana, where she is Professor of Music, Director of Choral Activities, and Chair of the Music Department. She also teaches graduate conducting at the University of Notre Dame. At Saint Mary's College, Dr. Menk conducts Belles Voix and the Collegiate Choir, teaches conducting, and prepares the Madrigal Singers for the annual Christmas Madrigal Dinners. Under her direction, Belles Voix has performed on tour throughout the United States and it regularly commissions, performs, and records new works for women's voices for their critically acclaimed CD series on the ProOrgano label. They have performed by invitation for divisional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association. They were named second-place winners of The American Prize in Choral Performance for 2012, and finalists in 2017 and 2019.

She is the founder and conductor of the South Bend Chamber Singers, an ensemble of 36 select singers from Michiana. They have been finalists for the prestigious Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence, given annually by Chorus America, and winners of the ASCAP/Chorus America Award for Adventurous Programming. Both the Saint Mary’s Choirs and the South Bend Chamber Singers regularly commission, perform, and record new works.

She is editor of the Saint Mary's College Choral Series, a distinctive series of select music for women's voices published by earthsongs of Corvallis, Oregon. She contributed a chapter for the book, Working with Women’s Choirs: Strategies for Success, published by GIA. Dr. Menk serves regularly as a choral adjudicator and guest conductor for All-State, honor, and festival choirs throughout the United States. She has served as guest conductor for the Hong Kong Youth Music Camp Chorus for two summers. From 1998-2022 she served as conductor of the Northwest Indiana Symphony Chorus, and from 2019 to 2022 she held the Phyllis and Richard Duesenberg Concert Choir Chair for the Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival.

She has conducted seven Carnegie Hall concerts with DCINY, including the Carnegie Hall premiere of American composer Carol Barnett’s The World Beloved: A Bluegrass Mass with DCINY. She returned to NYC in November 2014 to conduct a concert of music by American composer Gwyneth Walker at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall. In 2019, she returned to Carnegie Hall to conduct a program of sacred music for women’s voices and orchestra in honor of International Women’s Day, and in 2023 she will conduct a 110-voice women’s choir in Vivaldi’s Gloria. In 2016, she became the first woman to program and lead a subscription concert of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, conducting works by C.P.E. Bach, Antonio Vivaldi, and Igor Stravinsky.

She holds the BS and the MA degrees in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the MM and the DMA degrees in Choral Conducting from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.



DMA, University of Cincinnati
MM, University of Cincinnati
BA, MA, Indiana University of Pennsylvania

Research Interests 

  • Music for women's voices
  • New choral chamber music
  • Commissioning and recording new works

Courses Recently Taught 

  • MUS 201: Collegiate choir
  • MUS 203: Women's choir
  • MUS 205: Madrigal singers
  • MUS 365: Conducting I

Professional Memberships 

American Choral Directors Association
Indiana Choral Directors Association
Chorus America/American Choral Foundation
National Collegiate Choral Organization
International Federation for Choral Music
College Music Society
Delta Omicron International Music Fraternity