Instrumental Ensembles


Led by Rebecca Holt, the Handbell Ensemble rehearses on Saturday mornings and plays in worship services monthly. Moderate music-reading ability is helpful and a sense of rhythm and coordination important. No audition is required. The Ensemble is open to eighth grade students and older. Successful handbell choirs always have a sense of group spirit and mutual support with regular attendance at rehearsals crucial.

Second Strings

Join the Music and Fine Arts Department's new string ensemble – Second Strings! This ensemble is open to anyone in the community - you do not need to be a member of Second Presbyterian Church to join. Second Strings is open to all ages, as long as you have been playing your instrument for at least three years. Please contact Katie Gardiner for more information or if you would like to join.

Second Winds

All youth and adults who have completed at least three years of study on wind, brass or percussion instruments are eligible and encouraged to become part of Second Winds, a symphony wind ensemble comprised solely of volunteers from the Second Presbyterian community. This ensemble is a great opportunity for youth and adults to work together to create beautiful music, enjoy fellowship and use their gifts and talents to glorify God. This ensemble is open to anyone in the community - you do not need to be a member of Second Presbyterian Church to join!

Jazz Ensemble

The Jazz Ensemble, comprised of the formidable skill and talent of musicians Gary Walters (piano), Chris Pyle (drums), Steve Dokken (bass guitar), and vocalist Erin Benedict, is a renowned jazz performance group leading music at select worship services.

Festival Orchestra

This professional orchestra draws on members of Indianapolis Symphony, Indianapolis Chamber orchestras, and other area professional organizations. The Festival Orchestra performs for special concerts in addition to enhancing festival worship services.

Festival Brass

The Brass Ensemble draws on members of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, as well as other area professional organizations and performs with the Sanctuary Choir at special worship services and events.

For more information, or to sign up, please contact the Music and Fine Arts office at MFA@Secondchurch.org, or (317) 253-6461, ext. 309.

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    Rebecca Holt
    Handbell Ensemble Director
    (317) 253-6461

    Handbell Ensemble Director

    (317) 253-6461 | RHolt@SecondChurch.org

    First and foremost, Rebecca Holt received Jesus Christ as her personal Savior and Lord when she was a young child. She is very thankful for His guidance in her life. She received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Indiana University Fort Wayne. Upon graduation, she directed the children’s choirs, youth choir and the handbell ensemble at Faith Baptist Church in Fort Wayne. She moved to Indianapolis in 1984 to teach General and Choral Music at Clay Junior High School in Carmel. While there, she established the handbell program as well. She also received a Master of Music Education from Butler University.

    Rebecca formerly rang with the Indianapolis Handbell Ensemble and served as the choir director at Hope Christian and Missionary Alliance Church in Indianapolis. Currently, along with directing the Handbell Ensemble here at Second, she directs the Wesleyan Ringers at St. Luke's United Methodist Church. She also stays involved with the music ministry of her home church, Northside Baptist.

    Rebecca is married to Charles Holt and has three adult children: Ian, Brianna and Linnea.

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    Dr. Katie Gardiner
    Director of Second Winds and Second Strings
    (317) 253-6461

    Director of Second Winds and Second Strings

    (317) 253-6461 | KGardiner@SecondChurch.org

    Conductor Katie Gardiner completed the doctoral degree in Choral Conducting at the Jacobs School of Music in June of 2021, serving in positions as Associate Instructor in Choral Conducting and Music Theory (Fall 2019). Dr. Gardiner currently conducts the Adult Choir at St. Thomas ELCA Lutheran Church and serves as Cover Conductor for the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

    Prior to arriving in Bloomington, Katie served on the music faculty at Skidmore College where she held the position of Choral Director and Lecturer in Music from 2011-2018, conducting the Skidmore Community Chorus, Vocal Chamber Ensemble and teaching Music Theory and private lessons in musicianship and voice. While at Skidmore, Katie also conducted the Saratoga Youth Symphony and also spent time as a Visiting Choral Director at Williams College and the University at Albany, and conducted state and regional choral and orchestral festivals.

    As a passionate music educator, Dr. Gardiner also holds bachelors and master’s degrees in Music Education (vocal emphasis and pedagogy emphasis) from the Hartt School of Music and a Master of Music degree in Choral Conducting from the Eastman School of Music. Katie is thrilled to be joining the Music Ministry team and is excited to share the joy of making music with the Second Presbyterian Church community.

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    Dr. Michelle L. Louer
    Director of Music and Fine Arts
    (317) 253-6461

    Director of Music and Fine Arts

    (317) 253-6461 | MFA@SecondChurch.org

    Michelle L. Louer received the doctoral degree in choral conducting from Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, studying under Jan Harrington, Carmen Helena-Téllez and Thomas Dunn. She holds both Master of Music and Master of Divinity degrees from Yale University where she graduated summa cum laude, and a Bachelor of Music in piano and church music, magna cum laude, from Stetson University. In addition, she studied with noted conductors Fiora Contino and Joseph Flummerfelt.

    Dr. Louer is in her twelfth year as the Director of Music and Fine Arts at Second Presbyterian Church where she leads a comprehensive program for children and adults, providing vocal and instrumental opportunities for education, ministry, and performance. Dr. Louer conducts the 70-voice Sanctuary Choir and the Beecher Singers (a professional chamber choir) and oversees a talented music staff that directs children and youth music, handbell ensemble, wind ensemble, and a vibrant fine arts area.

    She is a former Adjunct Professor of Choral Music at Butler University, and prior to her appointment at Second, served on the faculties of University of Evansville and Oklahoma City University, and as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Kokomo (Indiana) Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for 3 years.

    Dr. Louer has led the Sanctuary Choir in annual performances of choral/orchestral masterworks, including Beethoven’s Choral Fantasie with André Watts, J.S. Bach’s Johannes Passion with Alan Bennett (Evangelist), Verdi’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams’ Dona Nobis Pacem, Poulenc’s Gloria, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

    For six seasons, she served as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Chorale Singers of Lafayette, Indiana where she was known for innovative programming of works such as James Whitbourn’s Annelies and a retrospective of the choral music of Leonard Bernstein. In the summer of 2016, Dr. Louer led choral groups on a performance tour through Germany and parts of the Czech Republic. Equally comfortable leading orchestras, she has conducted Dvoƙák’s Symphony No. 9 (“New World”), Elgar’s Cello Concerto in E minor, Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, and Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite (1919), and in 2018 served as Guest Conductor of the 14th Annual International Festival of the Aegean in Syros, Greece. Dr. Louer also serves on the Sacred in Opera Committee of National Opera Association.

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    Dr. John Allegar
    Organist and Assistant Director of Music and Fine Arts
    (317) 253-6461

    Organist and Assistant Director, Music and Fine Arts

    (317) 253-6461 x 309 | JAllegar@SecondChurch.org

    Dr. John Allegar is the Organist and Assistant Director of Music & Fine Arts at Second Presbyterian Church. He coordinates and schedules soloists and instrumentalists, maintains the church’s keyboard instruments, accompanies the Beecher Singers and Sanctuary Choir, and provides musical leadership for worship services. John also assists Michelle Louer, Director of Music and Fine Arts, with the implementation of the Music and Fine Arts Series and the general supervision of Second’s music program. John received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Performance and Literature (Organ) from the Eastman School of Music, and is past dean of the Indianapolis Chapter of the American Guild of Organists (AGO)