Dr. Rebecca Gruber
Artistic Director & Conductor
Dr. Gruber is in her fourteenth year as Artistic Director/Conductor of the Des Moines Gay Men’s Chorus and counts it a privilege to be one of only a few women conductors to fill that role. She has overseen three commissions, three performances at the national convention of the LGBT choral organization, GALA; several concert seasons with the best collaborative partners in the area, and a significant number of outreach performances to groups who advocate for civil justice and equality.
Dr. Gruber received the Doctor of Musical Arts in Choral Conducting at the University of Nebraska. She holds a Master of Sacred Music from Perkins School of Theology and a Master of Music in choral conducting from Southern Methodist University. Her undergraduate degree in voice/music education is from Simpson College. Dr. Gruber maintains an active voice studio in Des Moines and is a Licensed Kindermusik Educator at Pied Piper Studios.
As soprano soloist, Dr. Gruber has been heard in the works of J.S. Bach and C.P.E. Bach with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh, and in the Haydn Mass in C and the Beethoven Mass in C for the Chautauqua Series at First United Methodist Church, Dallas. She performed Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, Vaughan Williams’ Dona nobis pacem, Haydn’s Missa in tempore belli, and The Company of Heavenby Benjamin Britten on the Westminster Fine Arts Series, and Mendelssohn’s setting of Psalm 42 at Carnegie Hall.
As festival conductor and clinician, Dr. Gruber has worked with singers at David Lipscomb University in Nashville, TN, in the C. A. C. T. U. S. (Creative Arts Camp-Together Under the Sun) fine arts camp, and with the adult, young adult, and children’s music programs at the American Baptist Summer Music Conference in Greenlake, Wisconsin. She has conducted the Des Moines Elementary Honor Choir, the Southwest Iowa Honor Choir, Choristers Guild Children’s Choir Festival in Rochester, Minnesota, and the Richner-Strong Church Music Institute at Colby College in Maine. She created the dramatic/music/dance presentations at the Smithsonian Institution for awardees of the U.S. Center for Citizen Diplomacy in Washington, D.C. Lorenz publishes her children’s choir curriculum, Stepping Stones.
Accompanist & HarMENy Director
Ben Hagen is the Director of HarMENy and has been the principal chorus accompanist since the Fall of 2005. He received his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Iowa. During his time in Iowa City, Ben was the accompanist for the University of Iowa Old Gold Singers and played piano in the show band for Princess Cruise Lines. He has served as the Musical Director for many local musical theater productions including Next to Normal, The Last Five Years, Evil Dead the Musical, Parade, [title of show] and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Ben is participating in his fifth year as an adjudicator for the Iowa High School Musical Theater Awards. He has accompanied many professional artists including Simon Estes, Nick Lane and Amy Wagar. Ben also works as a senior actuarial analyst at EMC Insurance Companies.