WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (June 9, 2015) – The Winston-Salem Symphony announced today the appointment of Dr. Christopher Gilliam to the positon of Symphony Chorale Director, effective immediately. Dr. Gilliam was selected following a national search. He replaces Dr. Carole Ott who is departing to focus on expanding responsibilities at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
Of his appointment, Winston-Salem Symphony Music Director Robert Moody said, “Chris Gilliam was selected from an extremely qualified pool of applicants following a national search. He is an accomplished choral conductor and soloist and it is a pleasure to welcome him to the Symphony family. The Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale looks forward to his leadership as he continues building on the strong legacy of Dr. Carole Ott.”
A North Carolina native, Dr. Gilliam has performed extensively as a conductor and soloist throughout the United States and abroad, including the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland. He joined Davidson College as Director of Choral Activities in the fall of 2012. At Davidson, he conducts the Chorale, Davidson Singers, Choral Arts Society and Pro Arte Orchestra, oversees the departmental student led initiatives—the early music ensemble, Collegium Musicum and After Hours Vocal Jazz—and serves as Artistic Director for the annual Holiday Gala produced by the college’s Music Department. He is also the founder, artistic director, and conductor for Lake Norman Choral Artists, a semi-professional choral organization. Dr. Gilliam earned his masters and doctoral degrees in choral conducting and vocal performance in 2003 from the University of Kansas where he studied conducting with Simon Carrington, Professor Emeritus at Yale University, and voice with bass-baritone John Stephens.
He has sung as a professional chorister under such notable conductors as Simon Carrington and Dale Warland, and he is a featured soloist on the CD Juxtapositions with the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers. No stranger to Winston-Salem or the Symphony, Gilliam has performed with the organization on several occasions, and his voice has been described by critics as “a commanding baritone,” with a “well-modulated voice and pleasant timbre.” He is a member of the American Choral Director’s Association, The National Association for Music Education, and the National Association of Teachers of Singing, and he has directed choirs and taught award winning voice students who participated in state and regional conferences for those associations.
In his free time he enjoys composition and piano improvisation, and has filled the director of music position for several churches in Charlotte on an interim basis—currently Trinity Presbyterian Church on Providence Road.
Of his appointment, Dr. Gilliam said, “It is an enormous privilege to work with an organization as fine as the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale, and I will enjoy building upon the excellent work done by Carole Ott during her tenure. I look forward to joining with Maestros Moody & Mulligan and the expert musicians of the Winston-Salem Symphony to produce what will continue to be the finest of symphonic and concert choruses anywhere.”