Christopher Gilliam


D.M.A., M.M. University of Kansas


As Director of Choral Activities at Davidson College, I conduct the premier choir on campus, the Davidson College Chorale, as well as Davidson Singers, Davidson Lyric (women's chorus), Men's Chorus, and the Choral Arts Society. I also teach private voice, and serve as the Artistic Director for the annual Holiday Gala.

I received the Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas where I studied choral conducting with professor Simon Carrington (King's Singers, Professor Emeritus, Yale University), instrumental conducting with the late Brian Priestman, and voice with Dr. John Stephens. I have also enjoyed the privilege of mentorship by Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt (The Ohio State University, University of Toronto). Prior to my arrival at Davidson I was Associate Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana.

Choirs under my direction have sung at state American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) conventions and functions, and my voice students have won state and regional awards from the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS). Former voice and conducting students of mine are currently active music educators on the high school and collegiate levels and singing professionally for regional and prestigious opera houses and symphonies.

As an actor and soloist, I have performed in hundreds of opera, oratorio, musical theatre and straight theatre performances. Most recently, I was the baritone soloist for the Winston Salem premiere of Brett William Dietz's Headcase with the Winston Salem Symphony and music director Robert Moody. In November 2014, I will join the Symphony in their production of Poulenc's Dialogues des Carmelites.

For five years I was a founding member of and soloist for the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, a professional choral ensemble based in Kansas City, Missouri, and I can be heard as a soloist on the ensemble's CD, Juxtapositions. My performances have been praised as "magnificent" in the Kansas City Metropolis, and the Kansas City Star wrote, "Bass Christopher Gilliam was marvelous, with strikingly rich tone and impeccable diction." Additionally I have sung and studied with conductors such as Dale Warland (Minnesota Beethoven Festival), Donald Neuen, Maurice Casey, Robert Sund, Jameson Marvin, Carl Høgset, André Thomas, and Rodney Eichenberger. I've also enjoyed a great deal of travel nationally and internationally, serving as guest conductor, clinician, and/or singer in several states and abroad–in the Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland.

As a choral composer, I have published music with Alliance Music, Beckenhorst Press, and Lorenz. The Davidson College Chorale recently premiered my original piece, "Art Is Universal" based on a text by James Jackson Jarves (1818-1888), for the Jaume Plensa "Waves III" dedication on the Davidson College Campus.

The choirs at Davidson are active on the campus and in the community, as well as nationally and internationally. The Davidson College Chorale has toured the southern part of the United States, including New Orleans, Atlanta, Key West, Miami, Savannah, and Charleston. The Chorale has been invited to sing in the Washington National Cathedral in January 2015, and they are planning other performances in additional venues in Washington, D.C. and New York City during their Winter Tour. Internationally the Chorale has toured to Vienna, Prague, Salzburg, and Ireland. In November 2014, the Davidson College Choral Arts Society and Davidson Singers will join with the North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Lake Norman Choral Artists, and soloists for a complete performance of Handel's Messiah, and in April 2015 will join with instrumentalists from the Charlotte Symphony to perform Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and Stravinsky's Symphony of Psalms.

On the rare occasion that I have free time, I enjoy playing the piano, composing, reading, watching movies, eating out with friends, and (occasionally) tennis.

For a professional biography or to learn (or hear) more about me, Davidson College Choirs, or Lake Norman Choral Artists, please visit the websites below.