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Indianapolis Symphonic Choir honors Jacobs Dean Emeritus Charles H. Webb

The Indianapolis Symphonic Choir has honored Indiana University Jacobs School of Music Dean Emeritus Charles H. Webb as the inaugural recipient of the Elmer Steffen Founder's Award. The recognition is named in honor of Elmer Steffen who served as the first conductor of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir in 1937.

Webb received the honor, awarded to an individual or organization that has made a significant impact on the mission of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, on Saturday, February 28, 2009, during the choir's Gala Bel Canto celebration at Union Station in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Indianapolis.

Webb served as artistic director of the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir from 1967 through 1980. During this time, he rehearsed the choir every Tuesday evening and conducted the choir and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in performances of Handel's Messiah, Bach's Christmas Oratorio, the Verdi and Brahms Requiems, Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ, and other major choral-orchestral works. He has also conducted the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in performances including Haydn's Creation, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms, and has prepared the Symphonic Choir for performances at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center.

Additionally, Webb was the dean of the IU Jacobs School of Music for 24 years, from 1973 to 1997. While at IU, Webb conducted performances of such major works as Berlioz's L'Enfance du Christ, Handel's Messiah, Verdi's Requiem, Tchiakovsky's Nutcracker, Delibes' Coppelia, and operas including Giordano's Andrea Chenier, Douglas Moore's The Ballad of Baby Doe, and Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Webb received his A.B. and M.M. degrees from Southern Methodist University in 1955 and his D.M. from Indiana University in 1964. Webb is chairman of the Board of Advisors of International Music Festivals Inc., was appointed in July 1976 by Governor Bowen to the Indiana Arts Commission, and is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. He also serves as a member of the recommendation board for the Avery Fisher Prize, a director of the Busoni Foundation, member of the advisory board of the Van Cliburn Piano Competition, and member of the National Advisory Board of the American Guild of Organists. In 1983, he was named a member of the prestigious Indiana Academy and has received three "Sagamore of the Wabash" awards, from Governors Bowen, Orr, and O'Bannon, the highest award that the State of Indiana gives for meritorious service. In 1989, Webb received the Governor's Award for the Arts from Governor Evan Bayh.