Pam Blevins Hinkle

Pam Blevins Hinkle is a choral conductor, composer/arranger, workshop facilitator, arts administrator, singer, and instrumentalist (transverse flute, Native American flute, djembe, hang drum, boomwhackers, empty coffee cans, and her personal favorite—the kazoo).
 
Pam’s appetite for musical variety goes back to her family and school life. With piano, flute, tuba, saxophone, and singing in the family repertoire, music was a source of family fun and fellowship. These experiences, combined with participation in church and school ensembles from an early age, cultivated her belief that music is a powerful force for personal, communal, and spiritual transformation.
 
During secondary school, Pam participated in as many ensembles as she could…concert band, jazz band, pep band, marching band (serving two years as drum major), swing choir (called “show” choir these days), and musicals (in the pit orchestra and on the stage). Her appetite at Butler University was no different. She studied flute with Francis Fitzgerald for four years and signed up for madrigal choir, the chorale, and the concert band until her advisor said “enough already, get focused.” Though she followed the advice then, it’s still a life-long challenge of dubious worth.
 
After graduating with a B.S. in Arts Administration, attending graduate school, and leading a music-less life for eight years (and she wondered why she needed therapy), Pam returned to her musical and spiritual life in 1991. Her life-long love of singing found her leading a church choir. Now in her 17th year as as a choral conductor, Pam has led the Franklin College Singers, has served as music director for two Unitarian Universalist (UU) congregations, conducts the choir at the Midwest UU Summer Assembly (since 1998), and serves as artistic director of the Indianapolis Women’s Chorus (since 1997).
 
Pam’s work with the women’s chorus reflected her commitment to creativity, community building, and spirituality. She co-produced “Waterways” (2005), a performance piece on the downtown canal that included both improvised and composed pieces in collaboration with Susurrus, an interdisciplinary dance troupe. “Spirit Matters” (2006) was an innovative concert that featured original works by chorus members in an imaginative blending of performance and sacred ritual. She also partnered with the Central Indiana Land Trust (2009) to produce “Nature Awakens Creativity,” which featured local artists and poets during the Spirit & Place Festival in an event accompanied entirely by improvised music from the chorus and “Thin Air,” a 5-piece improvisation ensemble of which Pam is a member. Other creative collaborations were mounted in partnership with the Eiteljorg Museum of Native Americans and Western Art, Earth Charter, Central Library, and many others.
 
In 2003, Pam was awarded a Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis through which she studied chant and ritual song from diverse traditions as well as drumming (with Sally Childs-Helton) and improvisation (with David Darling). She is enrolled in the Musicianship and Leadership Certification of Program of Music for People, which teaches free improvisation to people of all skill levels. Pam facilitates workshops in chant, creativity and improvisation for a variety of church, school, and community groups, including the Indianapolis Women’s Prison.
 
Since 2006, Pam has served as director of the Spirit & Place Festival, an extensive civic festival that promotes civic engagement and public imagination through creative collaborations between the arts, humanities, and religion.