Funeral arrangements announced for Indianapolis Youth Chorale director

Cheryl West
Published: .
Updated: .

The director of the Indianapolis Youth Chorale died Saturday morning.

Cheryl West, director of the Indianapolis Children's Choir's (ICC) high school affiliate, suffered a severe cerebral hemorrhage and was taken to the hospital Friday night, according to a post on ICC's Facebook page. She passed away Saturday morning.

ICC released a statement Saturday saying, in part:

"This world has lost an incredible person this morning. Cheryl West was so gifted as a teacher, musician, artist, leader and friend. But what truly made her a phenomenal human was her unwavering love for those around her. She loved us so much and we love her even more....The ICC family has lost an incredible member of our family."

Those who were touched by "Mama West," as her students affectionately called her, took to social media to share their grief and condolences with more than 300 comments on ICC's Facebook page.

"Stunned, saddened, heart broken," said one commenter. "What an amazing woman with so much talent and love for music. She's the kind of person who touches the hearts of young people in ways that only others could dream of."

In addition to her work with the ICC, West was a faculty member of the Butler University Jordan College of Arts and the University of Indianapolis where she presided in the areas of music education, choral conducting, student teaching supervision, studio piano and voice, according to her bio on the Youth Chorale's website. The Youth Chorale are also part of the "Angels' Sing" program broadcast on WTHR Channel 13 each December.

West's career included concert tours of Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, five commissioned choral pieces and performance honors in the nation's capital, Carnegie Hall, Towne Hall, Sydney Australia, Westminster Cathedral, the Great Wall of China, St. Stephen's Cathedral, Salzburg's "Feuer & Stimme ChorFestival" and St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican. West also performed for the Indiana Music Educators Association state conventions in Indianapolis and Ft. Wayne, Indiana and the Central Division of the American Choral Directors Association in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Prior to her work with the ICC, West was the director of choral activities at Lawrence North High School in Indianapolis for 20 years and served on the Indiana Music Educators Board for 16 years. She also arranged music for school choirs and area churches and directed New Song, the prestigious women's ensemble at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Indianapolis.

West was also on the board of directors for the Indiana Choral Director's Association where she served as Membership Chair.

Visitation will be on Wednesday, September 3, between 2:00pm and 4:00pm with Funeral services following from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at St. Luke's United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260. The Indianapolis Youth Chorale and IYC alumni are slated to sing "Dance of Exultation" by Dan Forrest. That service will be streamed live on St. Luke's website.