CONDUCTOR * EDUCATOR * BARITONE
North Carolina native Christopher Gilliam has been performing for over 30 years--teaching rising young artists and scholars at the university and college level for the past fifteen. At home equally on the stage and podium, Gilliam has conducted or performed in hundreds of choral, opera, oratorio, music theatre, and straight-theatre performances.
Gilliam received the Doctor of Musical Arts Degree and Master of Music degree from the University of Kansas in 2003. At KU, he studied with conducting professors Simon Carrington, Brian Priestman, James Daugherty, and John Paul Johnson, voice professor John Stephens, and guest conductors Hilary Apfelstadt, Robert Sund, Maurice Casey, Jameson Marvin, Carl Høgset, André Thomas, and Rodney Eichenberger.
He currently serves as Director of Choral Activities at Davidson College in Davidson, NC, where he directs a graded choral program, serves as Artistic Director for both the Choral Arts Society of Davidson and the annual Holiday Gala, and teaches private voice. Gilliam also taught at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he served as Associate Professor of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice. There he taught a full studio of voice majors and minors, conducted three choirs, including Northwestern Lyric, the university's women's chorus, taught Theory II and Choral Writing and Arranging, and served as the Artistic Director of the annual Christmas Gala which brought in nearly 10,000 children and adults in eight performances over three days each year. Additionally, Gilliam is the artistic director and conductor for Lake Norman Choral Artists, a professional choral ensemble based in the Davidson area, and he is the director of the Winston-Salem Symphony Chorale.
Gilliam has travelled extensively nationally and internationally, serving as guest conductor, clinician, and/or singer in several states and abroad—Australia, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, and Switzerland. A member (and current NC Auditions Chair) of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS), he has directed choirs and taught award winning voice students who participated in state and regional conferences for both associations.
Gilliam was a founding member of and soloist for the Simon Carrington Chamber Singers, a professional choral ensemble formerly based in Kansas City, Missouri, and he appears as a soloist on the ensemble's CD, Juxtapositions. Of his solo performances, critics have written, "magnificent," "a well modulated voice with a pleasant timbre," "...commanding baritone," and "...marvelous, with strikingly rich tone and impeccable diction." He has also sung with the Minnesota Beethoven Festival (Dale Warland, conductor). Gilliam has been a soloist for the Winston-Salem and Memphis Symphonies, and he recently joined the chorus rosters of the Oregon Bach Festival and Charlotte Bach Akademie.
As a choral composer, Gilliam has published music with Alliance Music, Beckenhorst Press, and Lorenz, and is a current ASCAP member. He currently serves as Director of Music at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, NC.